Anna Hazare goes on fast demanding anti-corruption law

Last Updated: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 13:27

New Delhi: Anti-corruption crusader Anna
Hazare on Tuesday began his fast unto death demanding enactment of
a comprehensive law like the Jan Lokpal Bill to tackle
corruption.

72-year-old Hazare began his fast at Jantar Mantar
after taking out a march from Rajghat where he paid tributes
to Mahatma Gandhi.

"We will fast unto death until the government enacts
the Jan Lokpal Bill which is most necessary to fight
corruption in our country," Hazare told reporters here.

Activists Swami Agnivesh, Kiran Bedi and Sandeep
Pandey were also present.

Hazare had yesterday said that he was saddened when
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh rejected the demand by leading
civil society members to include them and senior ministers in
the joint committee to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen`s
Ombudsman Bill).

Hazare lamented that the views of eminent persons like
Justice (retd) Santosh Hegde, advocate Prashant Bhushan and
Agnivesh were not considered important by the government and
"a minister like Sharad Pawar, who is known for possessing
large amounts of land in Maharashtra, is heading a committee
that will draft the bill".

The Prime Minister`s Office, meanwhile, expressed
disappointment over Hazare`s decision to go on fast unto
death.

"The PMO has noted with deep disappointment that
Hazare is still planning to go ahead with his planned hunger
strike," a PMO release said last night.

However, the Prime Minister has enormous respect for
Hazare and his mission, it said.

Giving details of the steps taken on the Lokpal Bill,
it said Hazare and his group had presented Singh a draft of
their proposal on Lokpal.

"The Prime Minister offered and the group accepted a
suggestion that a sub-committee of the Group of Ministers
(GoM) could interact and discuss the draft with the civil
society activists," the release said.

The sub-committee headed by Defence Minister AK
Anthony met colleagues of Hazare "but the interactions proved
fruitless as the activists were insisting on the government
accepting their draft in full", the PMO said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - 13:27

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