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Anna Hazare joins fast ignoring appeal from close aides

July 29, 2012 14:48 IST

Ignoring an appeal from his close aides, Anna Hazare on Sunday joined three of his team members in their indefinite fast in New Delhi after his four-day ultimatum to the government to concede to his demands on Lokpal Bill found no response.

Hazare, who had been sitting on a dharna along with his three fasting colleagues for the past four days, reached Jantar Mantar to slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', 'Vande Mataram' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'.

"My team had told me not to fast citing health reasons.

When over 400 people are on fast, I cannot ignore them and not be on fast. Yesterday also my team appealed to me not to fast but I am sitting on fast from now. I consider I have your permission," Hazare said addressing the gathering at the venue.

Even after Hazare announced his decision, some of those who were fasting appealed to him not to fast again, saying his life is valuable and his leadership is needed. Hazare then picked up the microphone and said, "Till we get Jan Lokpal, the countrymen will not allow me to die."

The 74-year-old activist had asked the government to concede to his demands on Lokpal Bill by Saturday or else he would go on fast.

His close aide Arvind Kejriwal had on Saturday made a public appeal to Hazare not to fast citing his health.

This is the fourth indefinite fast by Hazare since April last year. The April fast was followed by one in Ramlila Maidan in August and in Mumbai in December.

In between, he had single-day fasts in Delhi thrice -- in June and December last year and March this year.

Hazare attacked Congress and BJP, saying the country's future does not lie safe in their hands and talked about the need for a political alternative in the 2014 elections, during which he will campaign for those with clean background selected by the people.

He had, however, declared he will not contest elections or form a party.

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