Anna Hazare begins fast, issues ultimatum to govt: 'Either pass Janlokpal Bill or I will die'

Dec 10 2013, 15:18 IST
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Anna Hazare attacked PM Manmohan Singh for ignoring the bill and made it clear that this time mere promises won't help. (IE Photo) Anna Hazare attacked PM Manmohan Singh for ignoring the bill and made it clear that this time mere promises won't help. (IE Photo)
SummaryAnna began his indefinite fast over Janlokpal Bill at Ralegan Siddhi today.

Anna Hazare said that his fast — starting from Tuesday —will go on until the Rajya Sabha passes the Janlokpal Bill. He said that mere promises will not do this time. “The government has given us many promises but later backtracked. This time I will not break my fast on any promise. Either pass the Bill or I will die,” he said. The Bill has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha since November 2012.

He attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for deliberately ignoring the Janlokpal Bill while making special efforts to pass other Bills. “The PM is hurrying on the Anti-Riot Bill while cold-shouldering the Jan Lokpal Bill. It only shows that if they want they can pass Bills but they don’t have the will power to fight corruption,” he said.

He said that he was feeling slightly weak because of the recent surgery but sacrifices are needed to be made if the country has to be changed for better. Observers, however, have expressed serious doubts if this protest will gather the same steam as Anna’s earlier fasts gathered.

“All those brains which planned and executed his fasts have been distanced by Anna. Apart from Kejriwal — who crafted the protests plans to the last details — other aides like Kiran Bedi, Sunita Godara have also left him. Moreover, Anna has disbanded the well structured group of India Against Corruption (IAC) which had a presence in almost all the states and has decided to go with V K Singh and formed Jantantra Morcha,” said a former colleague of Anna.

He said there’s also an absence of any plan as to how people from outside Ralegan Siddhi will be able to participate and express their support and whatever support the agitation will get will largely depend on media coverage. “Even Anna knows that he won’t be able to repeat what he did in Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Ground. That’s why he has chosen to undertake the fast in the safe havens of his village,” he added.

‘What I couldn’t do was done by my sainik (Kejriwal)’

Anna Hazare has always maintained that if he were to contest election, he would lose his security deposit because of the lack of money and muscle power which had become a must in the “deteriorated political system in the country”. On Monday, when reporters asked him to explain how Arvind Kejriwal and his party succeeded

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