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Anna Hazare sits on one-day fast at Jantar Mantar

Last updated on: December 11, 2011 12:16 IST

Anna Hazare sits on one-day fast at Jantar Mantar

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Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday began his token one-day fast against the Parliamentary Standing Committee's recommendations on the Lokpal Bill.

 

"The anshan (protest) has started, so I won't speak much. Bharat Mata ki Jai, Vande Matram, Inquilab Zindabad!," Anna told his supporters.


Ahead of his day-long fast for a strong Lokpal Bill, Hazare launched a vitriolic attack on the government, charging that it was "intoxicated" by power and said the "second fight for independence" has started which will go on till corruption is eradicated.

 

Addressing media persons, Hazare said, "So many martyrs lost their lives for our independence but even today we cannot experience independence. Who got independent. What independence. Corruption, loot is still here. Only 'goras' left and 'kalas' came in, that is the only difference."

 

"So the second fight for independence has started, it is a long fight, till corruption gets eradicated, it will go on. Many people will have to got to jail again, be lathicharged, some will have to sacrifice, that time is here now. Till we sacrifice, we won't get the right independence," Hazare added.

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Hitting out at the government, Hazare said, "This government is intoxicated by power and money. It cannot see anything else. They have forgotten the sacrifices by the likes of Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru. Like a drunk man becomes unconscious, similarly the government is unconscious."

"It is our job to get them into their senses. This in only a day-long agitation, after December 27, it will be a long agitation. Today that you all are here, I am energised," he said.

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This is Hazare's second protest at Jantar Mantar on the issue, the first being the hugely successful five-day fast from April five which forced the government to set up a joint committee of government and activists to draft Lokpal Bill.

Hazare on Saturday blamed Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for encouraging Abhishek Manu Singhvi, chairman of the Standing Committee of Law and Justice, Public Grievances and Personnel, for overlooking the letter written by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to the panel about the Lokpal Bill.

"I have a strong suspicion that Rahul Gandhi is behind the report. Otherwise, how can the chairman of the Standing Committee ignore a letter written by the prime minister to me? I feel that Singhvi is actually trying to please one man and that is Rahul Gandhi, who is seen as the future prime minister by some," Hazare said in response to a query at a press conference in Delhi on Saturday.

When asked why he has not blamed Congress president Sonia Gandhi for the watered down version of the Lokpal Bill, Hazare said, "She has not been keeping well and it would not be proper to drag her name in this."

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"There is somebody behind... Who is bigger than the Prime Minister?... We suspect Rahul Gandhi could be behind this... Who else can dare to challenge the Prime Minister? That is why there are these problems," Hazare said, alleging that their intentions are "not good".

He was referring to Standing Committee headed by Abhishek Singhvi which has disfavoured inclusion of Group C and D employees and kept out Citizen's charter and Lokayukta.

Hazare said he will resume his anti-corruption agitation from December 27 and then carry on this for next two years till the Lok Sabha elections. "We will continue to fight for the next two years. We will move around the whole country before the general elections to create public awareness," he said and asked "Why to retain those who have destroyed the country?

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Demanding inclusion of group C and D employees under the ambit of the proposed Lokpal, Hazare said if it was not done, the poor people will not get justice.

 

Describing the Standing committee as a "mini Parliament", he said it should not have "cheated people".


"People in Government say they are not afraid of our agitation. So, you go your way and we will go our way," he said, adding he will also visit the five poll-bound States to campaign against the UPA.

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Activist Arvind Kejriwal alleged that government was shooting from Anna Hazare movement's shoulders to "destroy" anti-corruption systems in the country.


Training guns at Rahul, he noted, "Singhvi said the Standing Committee cannot go by the wished of one person. But the Committee has unanimously agreed to give Constitutional status on the demands raised by one person."

 

Lawyer Shanti Bhushan said the Standing Committee has not accepted the provision in the government bill of the Lokpal having investigation powers.


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