Poor turnout leaves Team Anna disappointed
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Last Updated: Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 20:43
New Delhi: Team Anna's Lokpal bill protest here elicited a lukewarm response on Tuesday with organisers blaming winter chill and absence of Anna Hazare for the poor turnout at Ramlila Maidan.

The morning and evening crowd was thin in contrast to the one witnessed during Hazare's earlier three protests in the past eight months.

The protest venue which saw 30,000 to 40,000 pour in in August, saw only about 500 people turning up in the morning. As the sun came out, the number went up to 1,000-2,000 but again dropped to a few hundred in the evening.

The beginning itself was not auspicious for Team Anna as it was a delayed start, 90 minutes from the scheduled 10 am, as not many protesters turned up.

The leader of the protest Shanti Bhushan himself came to the podium at 10:30 am though another Team Anna member and his son Prashant Bhushan was at the venue before explaining to media persons about the protest and the delayed start.

Hazare was supposed to sit on a fast here but the venue was changed taking into consideration the weather in the capital. The activist is staging a three-day fast in Mumbai.

Prashant blamed the chilly and foggy weather for the low turnout in the morning. "I am sure people will come here as well. It is a cold day, foggy day today. It will take sometime for people to turn up. They will come, don't worry," he said.

Activist Gopal Rai said winter and probably the absence of Hazare may be the reason for the thin turnout.

Addressing protesters, Shanti Bhushan said government was worried about the re-election of their MPs if a strong Lokpal Bill is passed and said that it will have to bend before people's will on the issue.


First Published: Tuesday, December 27, 2011, 20:43

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