Why the Congress is scared of â€˜Annaâ€™s politicsâ€™ ? The Congress, which once ridiculed the Anna Hazare movement as being led by â€œunelected and unelectableâ€ leaders, today sounds petrified by the prospect of seeing these self-same leaders enter the campaign fray of electoral politics. Ever since Team Anna indicated it would campaign against the Congress candidate for the 13 October byelection in Hisar (Haryana), Congress leaders have been quaking in their khadi kurtas. Their initial feeble noises â€“ that the decision by Team Anna to campaign against the Congress was â€œunfortunateâ€ â€“ have given way to rather more direct messages to the anti-corruption activists to butt out of electoral politics. Anna Hazare is making a political gamble by going solely after the Congress, but that's a wager he is willing to make. PTI Yesterday in Nagpur, Congress leader Salman Khurshid put it rather more bluntly. â€œAnna,â€ he said, â€œshould stay away from politics.â€ And why should Anna do that? â€œPolitics,â€ said Khurshid, â€is our job. (Anna) must stick to social work. Let us do our job.â€ The point that Khurshid misses, surely, is that the anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare came about only because â€œcareer politiciansâ€ have been â€œdoing their jobâ€ a little too well â€“ as seen in the tsunami of scams weâ€™ve seen in recent years. So, why is the Congress running scared of Team Annaâ€™s exertions on the margins of electoral politics when in fact it has thus far dismissed Annaâ€™s campaign as unrepresentative of anyone? It is of course true that Anna has â€“ as the latest tactic to exert greater pressure on the political establishment to establish a strong and effective Lokpal institution â€“ targeted the Congress exclusively on the electoral stump. In a CD named â€˜The Government of the Corruptâ€™, Anna appealed to the people to defeat the Congress as it had failed to take its demands for the Jan Lokpal Bill on board. But that is merely because the Congress has clearly signalled through its actions that, for all its claims to being earnest about setting up a strong Lokpal institution, its heart is not in it. As the primary constituent of the ruling alliance at the Centre, the Congress has done everything within its power to dilute the Lokpal Bill â€“ and has had to be pushed and prodded at every stage to make even the minor concessions it has. It is that sense of vulnerability that perhaps leads the Congress to ask Team Anna, whose moral standing it can hardly match, to go away â€“ and let career politicians do the job. Annaâ€™s political strategy may of course be open to criticism on a number of counts. Anna is, in effect, taking a bit of a political gamble by going solely after the Congress on the Lokpal Bill issue â€“ when in fact there is nothing to suggest that the other political parties are any more favourably inclined towards setting up a strong anti-corruption agency. But thatâ€™s a wager that Team Anna is willing to make: it may work â€“ or it may bomb spectacularly if its appeal gets lost in the noisy din of elections, where typically many issues â€“ from the politically significant to the mundane â€“ compete for votersâ€™ attention. But the electoral campaign platform is in a larger sense a marketplace for ideas. It is where ideas clash and collide, and are tested for the extent of the traction that they enjoy among the electorate. And in a larger sense, politics is the fountainhead of every social and economic problem that plagues India; and, conversely, politics offers a chance to find solutions to these problems as well. â€œSocial workâ€ and â€œpoliticsâ€ arenâ€™t mutually exclusive domains, and in fact, it can be reasonably argued that Anna is merely â€œdoing his jobâ€ as a social worker by influencing politics on the periphery. As Iâ€™ve argued before, Iâ€™d personally like to see Team Anna enter electoral politics and reform the system from within â€“ rather than stay an eternal outsider. But until such time, Team Anna â€“ and in fact, anyone with a political consciousness â€“ is just â€œdoing its jobâ€ even if it is making an electoral pitch on behalf of one party or another.