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Upset over 'Jokepal' Bill, Hazare to fast from Aug 16

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 18:38 IST
Anna Hazare

A day after talks on Lokpal Bill failed, activist Anna Hazare on Thursday accused the government of having no intention of enacting a strong anti-corruption law and said he will undertake an indefinite fast from August 16 if a diluted legislation is introduced.

Hazare alleged that the government had "backtracked" on its promise about agreeing to all the suggestions forwarded by civil society members.

'Why waste so much of time'

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 18:38 IST
A file photo of Anna Hazare during his fast against corruption in New Delhi

He told reporters that he was "surprised" that the government wants civil society members to give a separate draft of the bill which will be brought before the Cabinet along with that of the government.

"If there has to be two drafts, then why was this joint committee formed? They could have told us earlier. Our draft was known to them. Why waste so much of time? It is clear that the government has no intention of introducing an effective bill," Hazare said.

'I am ready to sacrifice my life'

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 18:38 IST
A file photo of Anna Hazare with Baba Ramdev and Swami Agnivesh

Alleging that the government had gone back on assurances given to him to persuade him to withdraw his hunger strike in April, he said, "I will resume my fast on August 16. If the government tries to suppress us like in the case of Ramdev, we are prepared for that," he said.

"We are ready to face lathis and bullets. I am ready to sacrifice my life for the sake of the country," he said.

'It is a Jokepal Bill'

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 18:38 IST
Arvind Kejriwal

However, the Hazare camp made it clear that they will attend the meetings on June 20 and June 21 to see what the government has to say on the issue.

Hazare's aide Arvind Kejriwal said the government has "frittered away a huge opportunity" to frame a strong bill and take credit for it.

"What the government is now bringing is not a Lokpal Bill but a Jokepal Bill," he said