New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare,
who entered the second day of his indefinite fast, today
slammed the Congress for "misleading" the people by dubbing
his agitation as unnecessary and premature.
72-year-old Hazare, who is demanding enactment of an
anti-corruption bill to give wider powers to the Ombudsman,
said, "The party's (Congress) statement is misleading people.
Why is this agitation unnecessary and how is it premature? 42
years the nation has been in need of such a bill. Why can't
the government enact it?"
He asserted that he would not end his fast unto death
till the government agrees to have citizens' participation in
the drafting of the legislation.
When pointed out that the BJP too had embarked on a
anti-corruption campaign today, the reformist said the party
was taking advantage of the nationwide movement he had begun.
"But, they are a political party and are free to do as
they wish. In the past too, when I agitated against corruption
in the BJP government, the Congress party supported me. Now,
its the other way around", Hazare said.
Yesterday, BJP leaders Maneka Gandhi and Prakash
Javadekar visited Hazare's protest site at Jantar Mantar but
did not make any speeches.
JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav too sat on the dais with
Hazare and offered his support for the Jan Lokpal Bill and
even said he was ready to take it up in Parliament.
Hazare said he would not allow politicians to sit with
him on the dais anymore.
The anti-corruption champion began his fast yesterday
and has been joined by thousands of people.
Hazare said he did not have faith in the government or
any political party and decided to take things in his own
"How can they say I am using pressure tactics. Just as
we sought an audience with the Prime Minister for the Jan
Lokpal bill, we also tried to meet Sonia Gandhi. She did not
even reply", Hazare claimed.
On the response from the Prime Minister, the social
activist said, "He (Prime Minister) should not turn a blind
eye towards corruption in his government and should muster the
courage to not succumb to the pressures of coalition
He said this protest was different from his previous
ones as he saw a national uprising against corruption.
First Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 13:45