Anna fast: Ramlila wakes up to dwindling crowds

The absence of the usual wave of umpteen number of supporters took the crew of TV news channels by surprise.

New Delhi: As Anna Hazare`s fast entered the 12th day on Saturday, the Ramlila Grounds witnessed the thinnest crowd since the Gandhian began his agitation for a stronger Lokpal Bill here.

The absence of the usual wave of umpteen number of supporters took the crew of TV news channels, covering Anna`s agitation and volunteers of the Anna camp, by surprise.

However, the volunteers said they expected strong numbers as the day progresses. Since its weekend, the number of supporters would increase, they said.

The absence of usual strength of protestors, a familiar scene since Hazare took centrestage at the maidan on August 19, could be attributed to the wet ground and muggy weather.

"The number of people has surely gone down drastically. The increasing number of days and the absence of a credible assurance for the agitation could be a reason for dwindling number of supporters," a journalist covering the agitation for almost a week said.

However, the numbers can swell on one call from Anna and given the fact that the 12th day of his `anshan` has come with the weekend beginning, he said.

A definite answer to Hazare`s demands of bringing in a strong Lokpal Bill is still to come as the Parliament is expected to have a discussion on various variants of the bill.

The security has too been strengthened by the police after a group of people clashed with cops in the wee hours of yesterday and created ruckus.

The VIP gate, where the incident occurred at around 3 am yesterday, has been secured by a strong posse of police and CRPF personnel. A Delhi police videographer armed with a handycam has also been stationed there.


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