New Delhi, April 6, 2011
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare declared on Wednesday that he would not end his protest until the government agreed to re-draft the anti-corruption Lokpal Bill.
Anna Hazare went on a fast unto death on Tuesday demanding that his draft of the Lokpal bill be accepted by the government.
The 72-year-old activist, who ignored an appeal by the prime minister’s office (PMO) to skip the protest, remained adamant on continuing with his hunger strike, being observed at Jantar Mantar. Hazare wants the bill to be drafted based on the recommendations made by him and his supporters.
Reacting to charges that he was using blackmail tactics, Hazare said it was not pressure tactics against the government. He said he did not have affiliation to any political party and insisted that his hunger strike was for the nation only.
“I have been trying to speak to them for very long time, now they are just trying to divert the attention,” Hazare said.
On being asked about the ruling Congress’s perception that his protest was at the behest of RSS, he said, “I have no affiliation with any party. Whenever I protest against any party they accuse me of doing it for the opposition. I am doing it for the nation.”
Defending hunger strike by the septuagenarian leader, social activist Medha Patkar said, “The unnecessary delay in decision making is the reason behind Anna Hazare’s drastic step. Instead of a GoM, had the government announced a joint committee then the people could have considered it.”
As Hazare started his fast in the national capital on Tuesday, hundreds took to the streets across the country to support him in his crusade against corruption. A candle light march was organised in Dehradun to express solidarity with Hazare and his cause. The strongest support however came from his home state Maharashtra.
Protestors of all ages carried out a rally across Mumbai. The rally culminated at Azad Maidan where supporters shouted anti-government slogan till late Tuesday evening. Even yoga guru Baba Ramdev supported Hazare’s move.
“I completely support Anna Hazare and his cause. It is important to destroy the root cause of corruption in the country,” said Baba Ramdev.
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