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On Day 2, Anna Hazare's fast hardly has any crowd

Last updated on: December 28, 2011 15:09 IST

On Day 2, Anna Hazare's fast hardly has any crowd

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The second day of Anna Hazare's three-day long fast saw only a limited number of people at the MMRDA ground in Mumbai's Bandra-Kurla Complex locality on Wednesday.

 

On Tuesday, when the 74-year-old Hazare had started his fast, the estimate of people at the venue varied between 4,000 to 10,000, which was in sharp contrast to up to 30,000-40,000 that poured in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan in August.

On Wednesday, the number was visibly even less.

 

A close aide of Team Anna also expressed disappointment over the low turnout.

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Photographs: Hitesh Harisinghani/Rediff.com

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On Day 2, Anna Hazare's fast hardly has any crowd

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"The crowd is much less than what we had expected from Mumbai. Had Anna been fasting in Delhi, the response would have been phenomenal. But the crowd was relatively low in all parts of the country, except Delhi, maybe it was due to the year-end," he said.

 

Majority of the supporters present at the venue are from the northern states of the country like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab.

 

"The crowd has been relatively low here, compared to Delhi. It was much less than what I had expected. We haven't seen many Mumbaikars. Instead, a lot of people from different parts of the country are here to support," Pavitra Singh, who came from Punjab, told PTI.

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'It seems people of Mumbai are busy with work'

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"The crowd might be less due to several reasons like reports on the threat to Anna would have stopped people from coming here. Also, the place is a commercial hub, so the working class come and go as per their convenience," he said.

Singh, who is fasting, works for a local NGO in Punjab that focuses on issues related to youths.

 

"It seems people of Mumbai are busy with work. They don't have time for social causes...burning issues like corruption," K V Singh from Haryana, who had worked with Hazare in the Army, said.

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Tags: NGO , Mumbai , Army , Haryana

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'Delhi has adopted Anna'

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Kartar Singh, a farmer from Uttar Pradesh, said, "People are worried about corruption here also but the enthusiasm and seriousness for rooting out corruption is missing among Mumbaikars."

 

"When we were at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi people from neighbouring states like Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Punjab poured in...there was a massive support for the movement."

 

Even a top Hazare aide, who did not wish to be named, expressed disappointment over the poor turn out.

"The crowd is much less than what we had expected from Mumbai. Had Anna been fasting in Delhi the response would have been phenomenal. Delhi has adopted Anna," he said and attributed the thin attendance to winter vacation and the fast being held on working days.

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'We are disappointed as Mumbaikars have not come in large numbers'

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"I have been fasting for the last 17 years for several causes, mainly corruption. We are disappointed as Mumbaikars have not come in large numbers but we must not forget that protests are similatenously going in several parts of the city," Rangnath Kavade, from Kalyan said.

 

According to an India Against Corruption official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the organisers had expected a groundswell of support for the fast as it was being organised in the Gandhian's home state, the laboratory of his non-voilent movements against various social ills, including corruption.

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Security deployment down 40 per cent

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A top ranking police officer told PTI that nearly 40 per cent of security personnel deployed at the fast venue have been withdrawn.

"The deployment is made keeping in mind the crowds which are below our expectations. We will take a call on increasing police presence if required," he said on condition of anonymity.

 

There was heavy police bandobust for the event yesterday with 2000 police constables and 200 sub-inspectors, six platoons of state reserve police force, three teams of Quick Response Team and two Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads deployed.

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