Anna Hazare on fast-unto-death demanding Jan Lokpal Bill

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on April 12, 2011

Social activist Anna Hazare who began fast unto death demanding anti-corruption law with on the lines of Lokpal Bill, at Jantar Mantar, in New Delhi on Tuesday. Photo: V. Sudershan   -  The Hindu

Veteran Gandhian, Mr Anna Hazare, began a fast-unto-death in the Capital on Tuesday demanding enactment of a comprehensive Jan Lokpal Bill to check corruption.

Ignoring an appeal by the Prime Minister, the 72-year-old social activist began his day by paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat. He was joined by activists such as Swami Agnivesh, former IPS officer and activist Ms Kiran Bedi and Magsaysay award winner Mr Sandeep Pandey.

“I will observe fast-unto-death till the Government agrees to form a joint committee comprising 50 per cent officials and the remaining citizens and intellectuals to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill,” Mr Hazare said at Rajghat.

On the way to the fast site at Jantar Mantar, Mr Hazare's open jeep was greeted by tricolour waving supporters, including school children.

On Monday night, the Prime Minister's Office had said that the Prime Minister had enormous respect for Mr Hazare and his mission.

“The Prime Minister says we trust you (Hazare), we respect you. But, then why did he not sit with us even once after the meeting last month,” said Mr Hazare. He said he was disappointed after the Prime Minister had, in the last meeting with social activists over the proposed law to tackle corruption, rejected their demand for a joint committee.

“If the Government alone drafts this Bill, it will be autocratic not democratic,” Mr Hazare said. He lamented that views of eminent persons such as Justice (Retd) Mr Santosh Hegde, senior lawyer Mr Prashant Bhushan and Swami Agnivesh “were not considered important by the government“.

Meanwhile, reports said that during ‘Gudi Padwa' celebrations in his village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, the villagers expressed their support by dressing their ‘gudis' in black clothes as a mark of protest.

Activists of the ‘India Against Corruption' movement, too, began a fast at Azad Maidan in Mumbai in support of Mr Hazare and a rally of around 100 cars and bikes was organised from Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai to Azad Maidan.

Published on April 05, 2011

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