I will fight till my last breath: Anna Hazare
Amid hectic efforts to break the deadlock over the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare on Wednesday remained firm on three issues on which his team has differences with the government and said he will continue his fast till all demands are met.
As his indefinite hunger strike demanding a strong Lokpal Bill entered its ninth day, Hazare said the government has no intention to eradicate corruption even today and it is not honest in its effort in this regard.
Team Anna and the government's chief interlocutor Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement on three "sticky" issues -- citizen's charter, inclusion of lower bureaucracy and setting up of Lokayukta in the state through Lokpal.
"Yesterday, the government agreed to our demands but kept a decision pending on three issues," a frail-looking Hazare told the gathering at Ramlila Maidan.
"If the demands are not met, I have decided that I will fight till my last breath," he said.
Image: Anna Hazare
Three issues yet to be resolved
"From the village to the Mantralaya (the state secretariat), everyone should be brought under the Lokpal," the 74-year-old Gandhian said, adding "it has become very difficult for the poor to avail any service since the chain of corruption goes from bottom to top."
He pointed out that right from basic services like getting a ration card, kerosene and health services; nothing can be done without paying a bribe. "This chain has to be broken," he said.
Team Anna has been demanding that the whole bureaucracy should be brought under the ambit of Lokpal while the government is of the view that only officers above the level of under secretary should come within its purview.
On the demand for a citizen's charter, Hazare said government offices should display a board which gives details about the officers in the department and which services are available there.
Image: Anna Hazare's supporters at Ramlila Maidan
Hazare refuses intravenous drip
"It should specify in how many days you will get the service you seek. If any officer fails to provide the service in the time specified by the charter, he can be punished by the Lokpal. It does not end here; the Lokpal should also have powers to dismiss him," he said.
Claiming that elected representatives and government employees were hand-in-glove in corruption, he said there was a need for a citizen's charter so that erring officials can be punished.
Hazare said he would not backtrack on the demand for a Lokayukta at state-level along with a Lokpal at the Centre.
Meanwhile, concerns mounted over Hazare's health after he refused doctors' advice to be be put on an intravenous drip once again on Wednesday morning, even though he has increased his intake of fluid.
The 74-year-old anti-corruption crusader has lost another 200 grams in the past 24 hours with his weight settling at 66.2 kg. He was 72 kg before he began his fast on August 16.
His blood pressure was recorded at 104/86 while his blood sugar was 106 and pulse rate 82.
Image: Hazare's supporters at Ramlila Maidan
'His health has stabilised'
"After his intake of fluid was increased, his health has stabilised. We have put the team of doctors on full alert. We are keeping a strict vigil on his health," Dr Naresh Trehan told reporters at the Ramlila Ground after examining him.
Trehan, who along with his team is monitoring Hazare's health, said the Gandhian's water intake has been increased after he refused to be put on IV drips.
He said the doctors had asked Hazare to cooperate with them and take a IV drip but he refused, saying his "inner conscience" does not allow him to do so.
Meanwhile, NAC member Aruna Roy, who had criticised Anna Hazare's protest on Lokpal Bill, met the Gandhian at Ramlila Maidan.
Roy and her associates met Hazare at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on Wednesday morning, a day after Team Anna and the government initiated talks to break the deadlock over Lokpal Bill.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare make their way to Ramlila Maidan
'We have old links with Anna'
"We are concerned about Anna. We have old links with him," Roy told reporters.
Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said Roy is a well-wisher of Hazare and had come to meet him.
This is Roy's first meeting with Hazare after the Gandhian began his indefinite fast.
Last Saturday, Roy had criticised Hazare for "deriding" democratic institutions and alleged that he was "ill-advised".
In an apparent reference to Hazare setting a deadline to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, she had said, "I think Annaji is ill-advised...anyone who says my view should be the only view is wrong."
The National Campaign for People's Right to Information, with which Roy is associated, has prepared a version of the Lokpal Bill and presented it before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare at the Ramlila Maidan