Social activist Mr Anna Hazare’s fast-unto-death entered the fourth day today even as anti-corruption activists wait for a communication from the Government over holding another round of talks to iron out differences over notifying formation of a joint committee to draft an effective Jan Lokpal Bill(Citizen’s Ombudsman Bill) an important new law to fight corruption.
I will fight till death,” Mr. Hazare had said addressing hundreds of supporters gathered near Jantar Mantar here after word spread that talks between government and anti-corruption activists were deadlocked.
Expressing dissatisfaction over the government’s reluctance to come out with a notification to constitute the committee, he said his fast will continue.
A close aide of Mr. Hazare said the 71-year-old activist was in good health though there he was feeling weak. “We are waiting for the results of third round of talks,” the aide said.
Last night, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi had appealed to Mr. Hazare to end the fast. “I am sure that Hazareji’s views will receive the government’s full attention as we move forward to fight this menace. I appeal to Anna to give up his fast,”Sonia had said in her appeal.
Three of the five demands raised by Mr. Hazare and his supporters have been met by the government. These are formation of a joint committee with five members each from government and civil society, immediate setting up of the panel and bringing the Bill in Monsoon session.
However, government did not agree to the demands of the activists that Hazare be made the chairman of the joint committee and issuing an official notification for the constitution of the committee.
Mr Hazare wants civil society representatives to be included in the committee that drafts the bill. The government says that while it is willing to incorporate suggestions, legislation is the business of Parliament alone. Mr Hazare disagrees.
“I will continue fast-unto-death till the government agrees to form a joint committee comprising 50 per cent officials and the remaining citizens and intellectuals to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill,” he has said.
Hazare said politicians did not want a Lokpal Bill because it would put a stop to their “loot” of the exchequer. “Now scams like 2G spectrum, Commonwealth Games and Adarsh housing are being exposed but the corrupt are not going to jail. We want a Lokpal Bill to jail the corrupt and get them hanged,” the activist said, much to the surprise of his supporters.
“You must be wondering why I am talking about hanging [the corrupt] despite my being a Gandhian. But the situation today is such that we should follow not only Gandhiji but also Chhatrapati Shivaji.”
Dr. Praveen Sharma, a neurosurgeon from Mumbai, who has been monitoring Mr. Hazare’s health, said the septuagenarian was in good health and his vital statistics were normal.
Support swells for Anna Hazare’s hunger strike
Support has been pouring from Indians across the globe in support of Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption. Indians in Los Angeles are organizing a day-long fast Saturday in support of Indian social activist Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption in India.
According to “India Against Corruption” volunteers, the number of people who have joined Mr. Hazare in his fast-unto-death has risen to 210. Three persons fainted and had to be given medication on Thursday.
As many as 45 cities in the US, 40 cities in India and 8 other countries globally joined the movement.