Anna Hazare ups the ante

Our Bureau Agencies New Delhi | Updated on March 12, 2018

Mr Anna Hazare at Tihar Jail on Wednesday. – PTI

Anna Hazare today escalated his battle with the Government refusing to come out of Tihar Jail notwithstanding Delhi Police's climb down on various conditions they had imposed on his indefinite fast in support of a strong Lokpal. The 73-year-old Gandhian spent the second night in the jail complex as hectic negotiations continued between Team Anna and police which made a fresh offer that the protest can be held for 21 days at Ramlila Maidan, the new venue over which the two sides have reached an agreement.

In a show of solidarity with Mr Hazare, large crowds gathered outside the Tihar Jail and later the India Gate. Candle-light vigils were also held. The movement found resonance across the country too, with impromptu protests and solidarity marches.

Mr Hazare was taken into custody on Tuesday morning as he was preparing to leave for J.P. Park here to start an indefinite fast unto death for a strong Lokpal Bill. The authorities arrested Mr Hazare when he did not agree to certain conditions imposed including limiting the number days of the fast and number of people participating in it.

PM statement

Earlier in the day, in a statement in Parliament, the Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, said that the path chosen by Mr Anna Hazare to “impose” his draft of a Bill on Parliament was “totally misconceived and fraught” with grave consequences for “our Parliamentary democracy”. The Opposition, however, was on its feet soon after the Prime Minister's statement.

Opposition view

Stressing that the BJP does not necessarily support Mr Hazare's version of the Bill, Mr Arun Jaitley said his party rejects the thesis of “police action and power”. Mr Jaitley added that the Prime Minister's statement did not disappoint or add to information available.

Replying to the debate in Lok Sabha, the Home Minister, Mr P. Chidambaram, said there was no wrongdoing in the arrest of Mr Hazare.

Mr Chidambaram said arresting Mr Hazare was an administrative decision but getting him released from court was a political decision.

Published on August 17, 2011

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