Beware of govt`s motive, Hazare warns Ramdev

Last Updated: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 18:22

Ralegan Siddhi: Anna Hazare on Thursday
decided to associate himself with Baba Ramdev`s hunger strike
with a warning to the yoga guru that he should not be swayed
by the overtures made by the government saying it plays
"fraud" by first agreeing to demands and then backing out.

Hazare, who rattled the government in April through
his fast for a stronger Lokpal that generated widespread
nationwide support, said all those fighting against corruption
should not be satisfied with the oral assurances of the
government.

Hazare said he would join Ramdev at Ramlila Maidan in
Delhi, where he is to sit on a fast-unto-death protest, on
Sunday, emphasising that there was no divide in the civil
society on the issue of corruption.

"I will support Ramdev so that the government does not
do what it did when we were fighting. We will fight together
against corruption," he said.

Hazare criticised yesterday`s extraordinary step by
the government to send four senior ministers, including
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, to Delhi airport to receive
Ramdev and talk to him there.

"There was no need for so many ministers to go. One or
two ministers would have been enough for the talks. When so
many ministers go, it means there is a plan of fraud. Sign
papers, make promises, all this is to pass time," he said.

"Once the time passes, they (government) will do what
they want to. When I went on fast, it reached such a stage
that the government conceded to all our demands to save
itself. Now, they have backed out," Hazare said.

He was referring to the question of bringing Prime
Minister under the purview of Lokpal, which he claimed the
government had agreed to earlier but now disfavours. (More)
Claiming that the government has "cheated" activists
on the issue of Lokpal and people have realised the "betrayal"
by the government, Hazare said, "it is a fraud if the
government agrees on certain issues and say the Prime Minister
will be accountable under Lokpal and later backs out."

Hazare also noted that the yoga guru has a standing in
the public and wherever he goes people gather to hear him.
"Baba Ramdev has been raising the issue of black money
from so many days. Why did the government not think of doing
something on the issue? People have now come to know what the
intentions of the government are.

"Now no more hollow assurances and oral promises. What
we want is action and the fight against corruption will
continue throughout the country till we get what we want," he
said.

He said the government was getting its act together
now only after Ramdev made it clear that he would start his
agitation from June 4.

"For so many days we are demanding (immediate
implementation of the Lokpal Bill), why did the government not
listen to us. Now the government is running just because time
has to come to sit on fast, he said.

Asked about the bitterness that surfaced recently
between government and civil society members of the Lokpal
drafting committee, Hazare said he warned that if the draft of
the proposed bill was not prepared in time and in line with
their demands, they will part ways and hit the streets again.

"Government is not bigger than people. People are
bigger than people," he said.

Hazare also made it clear that everybody should come
under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill. "All the government
officials should come under the ambit of the Lokpal," he said.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, June 2, 2011 - 18:22

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