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Hazare to end his fast at 10 am on Saturday

By Sheela Bhatt
Last updated on: April 08, 2011 23:17 IST
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In a breakthrough which will end five days of unprecedented breast beating over corruption, activist Anna Hazare late on Friday night agreed to call off his fast at 10 am on Saturday morning.

Hazare had gone on an indefinite fast from Tuesday to demand the involvement of civil society in the formulation of the anti-graft Lokpal bill.

He decided to end his fast on Saturday at 10 am after the government agreed to issue an order on the Lokpal bill. 

"I will break my fast tomorrow. I have agreed because the government has agreed. This is a victory of the people," Hazare said after a meeting with close aides.

The move to call off the fast has come as a huge relief for the government which has been battling serious charges of corruption against its government.

According to the agreement, Finace Minister Pranab Mukhrejee will be the chairman of the joint committee on the bill and former Union law minister Shanti Bhushan will be the co-chairman.

The other members will be Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, Law Minister Veerappa Moily, Minorities Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.

Besides Hazare, Swami Agnivesh and RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal will also be members of the committee.

Sibal, who had been holding discussions with Hazare's supporters to resolve the issue, welcomed the decision.

Reacting to Hazare's announcement, Sibal said, "I was very happy to hear Annaji say that he will be breaking his fast on Saturday morning. I am happy that the civil society and the government can sit together across the table and sort things out. I am happy we are ending these days of uncertainty. We are all against corruption. Now we will be giving our names, we have their names. We will ensure that the proceedings of the committee start immediately. It is a happy day for us."

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Sheela Bhatt in New Delhi
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