Anna gears up for round-III with govt
Mumbai/ Ralegan Siddhi: Continuing his fight for a strong Lokpal Bill, Gandhian Anna Hazare is all set to take on the Congress-led UPA government once again by his three-day fast at Mumbai`s sprawling Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) ground. The anti-graft crusader is due to begin his fast at 11 am on Tuesday.
Hazare arrived in Mumbai from his native village Ralegan Siddhi and soon drove to the state government guest house in suburban Bandra for the night halt.
"I`m fine", Hazare said responding to reporters’ query on his health. He refused to take further questions from the media saying, "I`ll be talking to you for the next three days."
Tomorrow morning he will first offer floral tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at his memorial in Juhu beach. He will then be escorted to the fast venue - the MMRDA ground in Bandra-Kurla complex - by a motorbike rally.
The ground will have six emergency exits, 16 fire extinguishers and six metal detector units, besides round-the-clock ambulance services.
The Maharashtra government assured the Centre that all necessary arrangements are being taken for Hazare`s security.
In a communiqué to the Central government, it said that adequate security will be provided to Anna when he stages his fast, official sources said in New Delhi.
Meanwhile, police has thrown a tight security cover at Anna’s fast venue. Bomb detection and disposal squads and units of Quick Response Team are being put in place.
Around 2,000 constables, 200 sub-inspectors of police, six platoons of state reserve police force, three teams of Quick Response Team and two Bomb Detection and Disposal Squads will keep a hawk`s vigil at the MMRDA grounds.
A high level meeting of the Maharashtra Home department to take stock of an overall review of the law and order situation was chaired by state Additional Chief Secretary (Home) UC Sarangi. The meeting was attended by top officials including DGP K Subramanium and Mumbai police chief Arup Patnak.
Emerging out of the meeting Sarangi told reporters "We took stock of the overall security review for maintaining law and order. No additional force has been sought as of now," he told reporters.
“All speeches by speakers during Hazare`s fast will be monitored”, he added.
On his way to Mumbai, the social activist visited the samadhi of 12th century saint Dnyaneshwar at Alandi on the banks of river Indrayani in Pune. Anna Hazare was greeted by scores of activists shouting `Bharat Mata Ki Jai`.
Anna performed pooja of Lord Vitthal and offered tributes at Samadhi of Dnyaneshwar.
Earlier, hundreds of villagers gathered to see him off at Ralegan Siddhi as he left by road for Alandi.
“It (his agitation) is not against any party or person. Today common man is finding it difficult to live. I have been fighting against corruption for 25 years but the government is still not serious about eliminating it,” he told reporters before proceeding to Mumbai.
“No strong rule has been brought to curb corruption. Lokpal Bill has been brought to the Parliament eight times but was never passed. The government is not serious about corruption,” Anna said adding, “Now it is all about money for power and power for money…Government has gone blind about the difficulties of the common man.”
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