‘I didn’t want to fast in Mumbai, but was forced to do so. My health deteriorated’
When did you get this offer? From whom?
From (Gandhian and former Speaker of the Maharashtra assembly) Balasaheb Bharde. Woh bole ki aap jaise aadmi ka Lok Sabha mein jaana zaroori hai.
Aap jayenge to baaki sabke liye mushkil ho jayegi.
(Laughs) That is why I said no. I said, 'Why do you want to push me into this muck?' I am not going in there. The work that I do for society and the nation now, I would never be able to do as an MLA, MP or minister. So why should I go into that muck?
Did you say this to your colleagues who have now opted to enter politics? People like Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan, who are now about to form their party?
They believe that the gandagi (muck) in politics can only be removed when clean people enter politics.
But you don't agree?
No. Because it is not that easy. We cannot engineer politics on a national level in this way. But they believe they can, so I said if you believe so, then you can go ahead.
But did you try and persuade them to continue in the movement?
No. I told them that they could go if they wanted to go. But I cannot go. In my life, I have made a decision not to join a political party or fight an election. I have taken a vow. So it is not possible for me to go (with you). You go if you want to. But I did tell them that if they picked good people to send to Parliament, I would support those people. I would not oppose them.
Will you support only their party's people or good people of any party?
No, only people from their party. The entire business of black money starts when political parties start taking funds for elections. How will we get a better future like this?