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Team Hazare slams PM's 'insensitive' comment

Last updated on: August 15, 2011 11:36 IST

Team Hazare slams PM's 'insensitive' comment

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Reacting strongly to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that hunger strikes were not a way to solve the problem of corruption, activist Anna Hazare's team on Monday called him an "insensitive" person.

Hazare is scheduled to go on an indefinite fast from August 16 to press for his demand for a stronger Lokpal Bill.

Hazare's supporter Kiran Bedi claimed that people no longer trust the United Progressive Alliance government, which was elected two years ago, as it had squandered an opportunity to create history by enacting a strong anti-corruption Lokpal.


Image: Activist Anna Hazare

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'He is insensitive to people's perception'

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The Hazare team's reaction came as Dr Singh used his Independence Day address to assert that those who are opposed to the bill should not resort to hunger strikes and fast-unto-death.

"He speaks like a final arbiter. He says you cannot protest. This is a direct imposition of a bill on people against their will. The prime minister is imposing a bill on the country and saying a protest fast is wrong. The PM is asking people to fall in line," said Bedi.

"He is insensitive to people's perception. Surveys after surveys and referendums after referendums showed that people rejected the government's Lokpal Bill. He is not taking this into account," she alleged.


Image: Supporters of activist Anna Hazare participate in an anti-corruption rally
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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'The fast is against the imposition of a dhokha'

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Bedi was of the opinion that the prime minister was not addressing the reasons for the proposed fast by Hazare.

"The fast is against the imposition of a dhokha (betrayal) bill which excludes more than what it includes. Fasting is the only way and we are now being asked to fall in line," she said.

Noting that the prime minister did not elaborate in his speech about what kind of Lokpal he envisioned, she said Dr Singh should have told the nation that an overwhelming majority has rejected the government's version of the bill and that he would be withdrawing the measure.


Image: A sticker in support of Anna Hazare
Photographs: Parivartan Sharma/Reuters
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