New Delhi: Civil society activists on Thursday
hailed the agreement between government and Anna Hazare for
holding his fast at Ramlila Maidan and demanded that the Jan
Lokpal Bill at least be brought to Parliament which could take
a call on it.
Expressing happiness at the turn of events, close
associate of Hazare and former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan
said the decision to allow Hazare to fast for 15 days showed
that his demands were reasonable and that the government
should bring in a new Lokpal Bill after consulting the
"I am very happy that ultimately good sense has prevailed
on the government and it has agreed to permit Anna to fast for
15 days and that shows that Anna was never unreasonable in his
demands," Bhushan said.
He said the whole country knows that Hazare has
maintained that if not 100 per cent, 60-65 per cent of
corruption would be stopped through a strong Lokpal.
Swami Agnivesh hailed the decision to allow Hazare`s
fast at Ramlila Maidan as a "victory" of the people in the
campaign against corruption.
"It is gratifying to note that government has relented
and allowed the fast by Hazare without any conditions and at
the chosen venue of Ramlila Maidan," he said.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal, expressing happiness over the
decision, said the battle has just begun and they are
"prepared for it".
Lawyer and Hazare team member Prashant Bhushan said their
demand is that government should at least table the Jan Lokpal
Bill in Parliament.
"Our demand is very clear. The government should at least
table the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. Once it is tabled
then, let Parliament take a call on that.
"Fasting is a means of arousing conscience of the people,
authorities and the government. Even if the government`s
conscience is not aroused, the conscience of the common man is
being aroused given the fact that millions of people are
supporting the movement," he said.
Janata Party president Subramanian Swami welcomed the
agreement between government and Team Anna. "In a democracy,
there has to be give and take when negotiations take place
without sacrificing fundamentals. Then there will always be
another day to take up other left out demands. This is the
Shanti Bhushan also said that Team Hazare has never
contested Parliament`s authority to pass laws. "What we are
saying is that Parliament should pass a bill in accordance
with the aspirations of the people."
He said the Team Hazare wants a "strong" Lokpal which
will be accountable to Supreme Court. "If there is any
complaint against any member of Lokpal then the Supreme Court
will look into it."
After two nights in Tihar Jail and hard bargaining,
Hazare and government reached an agreement early this morning
under which Delhi Police removed all restrictions and allowed
him to carry out his hunger strike for a fortnight in the
spacious Ramlila Maidan.
The breakthrough in the battle of attribution between the
two sides came in the wee hours of the day after top aides of
Hazare met Delhi Police Commissioner B K Gupta and reached an
The deal marks a major climbdown from government and
police`s earlier insistence that the fast would be allowed at
JP Park, a smaller venue, only for three days with maximum of
5,000 protesters besides a number of other conditions.