BeyondHeadlines Special Correspondent
Mumbai: Team Anna’s move to picket residences of Cabinet ministers and MPs was inspired from a suggestion given by none other than Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.
A Team Anna member said, “It was Aamir’s suggestion that we should get individual MPs to take a stand. We have only made a call. It is the people who are taking this forward by voluntarily raising the issue with their MPs across the country.”
Aamir was the first Bollywood personality to extend his support to Anna Hazare by writing to him and sending a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to pay heed to the appeal. Aamir, who had openly shown support to Anna, has been keeping a low profile, but it is learnt that he is in constant touch with the leader’s core team.
The actor was not available for comment. However, in his answers to a questionnaire sent to him by India against Corruption (IAC), he is of the opinion that the PM should come under the purview of the Lokpal.
Sources said that psephologist Yogendra Yadav gave Team Anna valuable advice on the referendum though he did not assist them in conducting the survey. The move to conduct a referendum in Amethi (Rahul Gandhi’s constituency) and Chandni Chowk (Kapil Sibal’s constituency) was seen as controversial. The government had raised questions on the credibility of the “referendum”, describing it more as a survey.
Sibal had ironically remarked that he was surprised that the result was not 100% in favour of the Jan Lokpal bill when the referendum showed it as 85%-90%.
The other idea that proved to be a big hit was Anna’s CD that relayed his message hours after he courted arrest on August 16. The CD spoke about the second freedom struggle, and was the brainwave of Mayank Gandhi, an IAC aide based in Mumbai.