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.