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Clear your political stand: Chavan to Team Anna

Mumbai: Taking on Team Anna, Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan today said it is "amply clear" that Anna Hazare`s associates want to join politics and asked them to be open about it.

"If you want to take part in politics, you must join it; politics will be enriched. It is now amply clear that his associates want to join politics," Chavan said.

"If they take part in politics directly, participate in elections, there is nothing wrong in it. However, staying out (of politics) and tacitly supporting or opposing any party is not done.

"Instead of this, say publicly that I support such and such political party, that I support such and such ideology," Chavan, who completes a year in office on November 11, told a Marathi TV channel.

"A clear stance should be taken, whether to contest elections or to support (someone) in elections. But, there is no point in taking a negative stance, that if the (Jan Lokpal) bill is not passed, I will oppose (Congress)," he said.

"If you are opposing somebody by saying such things, you are also supporting somebody at the same time. However, thought should also be given to check what type of ideology and people you are supporting," Chavan said.

"There is nothing wrong in taking a stance that some political party wins and even campaign for it. But, while doing so, he should be open," Chavan said.

The chief minister also told journalists here that Hazare would not have a big impact on the elections of the various urban local bodies in the state, slated between December this year and March next year.

"While corruption and price rise will be factors, concerns over these, have existed even before Hazare started his (Jan Lokpal) movement," he said, adding Lokpal alone will not weed out corruption and there is a need for a grand architecture against corruption.

Chavan also disapproved of the use of emotive issues like the Marathi versus north Indian debate as a poll plank.

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