Hazare calls for ‘Jail Bharo Andolan’
New Delhi: Gandhian Anna Hazare Friday announced a `Jail Bharo Andolan` across the country on April 13 after the government rejected his demands of chairmanship
of the joint drafting committee being given to a civil society
member and for a formal notification.
Giving the call, Hazare asked people to stick to
non-violence during the agitation. After first announcing
April 12 as the date for the agitation, he later changed it
April 13 citing holiday on the earlier date.
"Today when (minister Kapil) Sibal and these people
are saying this, I felt that the jail bharo agitation should
take place in the entire country. But you should participate
in the agitation keeping in mind Mahatma Gandhi. There should
be no violence anywhere," Hazare said.
He recalled that he had organised similar jail bharo
movements in Maharashtra in the past.
His announcement came after a meeting of HRD Minister
Kapil Sibal with activists Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kejriwal
scheduled this morning did not take place with both sides
saying they were waiting for each other.
Rejecting the two demands of the social activists,
Sibal also said that only government officials will be
members of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill and
that no minister will be part of it, if they insist on the
chairman being from the civil society.
"There is no possibility of an official notification
on the constitution of the joint committee but we have told
them that we are willing to give an official letter through
the law ministry and a press note," he said.
Hazare also urged the unemployed youths to join the
agitation, saying they will get the morning breakfast and two
meals in the jail.
Maintaining that his agitation is for decentralisation
of power in people`s hands and the proposed Jan Lokpal Bill
will be a step forward in that regard, Hazare made it clear
that he was not interested in becoming a party to any
The veteran socialist said he has written a letter to
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today suggesting names of former
Chief Justice of India J S Verma and Justice Santosh Hegde for
the chairmanship of the committee to draft the new Lokpal
Hazare said that corruption in the country could be
checked if the agencies involved in fighting the menace were
brought under the Lokpal instead of the government.
"All agencies supposed to check corruption like CBI,
vigilance committees, and various committees are under the
government. Because they are functioning under the government,
there is no stopping of corruption.
"CBI has investigated many big cases before and after
Bofors. But did any minister or IAS-IPS officer go to jail so
far? This is because even if somebody wants to take tough
action, the government will stop him," Hazare said.
"If the agencies responsible for controlling corruption, which are under the government, are brought under
the Lokpal, then the corrupt will go to jail. That`s why we
are demanding this kind of Lokpal," he said.
Hazare also cited the example of Right to Information
Act saying that the RTI changed the ball game and now the
government has to follow rules and people will have control
instead of people following the rules and the government
having control which the Britishers proposed.
"Today there are two reasons for corruption that has
risen in the country. The laws are weak so the corrupt have no
fear. Secondly, lot of people running the government are
taking along these corrupt people.
"There is also a third reason that there has not been
a decentralisation of power. Corruption rose as power was
centralised in the government. Lokpal Bill is for
decentralisation and our agitation is precisely for that," Hazare said.
Social activist Swami Agnivesh, who shared the dais
with Hazare, however, sounded optimistic about a resolution.
"I do not want to colour it with something
confrontationist. No, not at all. He (Sibal) has been very
conciliatory and he has spoken to me on phone and he wants to
resolve it as early as possible as possible, hopefully by this
evening," he said.
Sibal said the government has been very accommodative.
Social activist Arvind Kejriwal dismissed media
reports of any crack in the movement, saying all those taking
part in the movement are united.
Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi also said she was very
much with the movement and will continue with the fight.
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