New Delhi: As Anna Hazare’s fast entered tenth day Thursday, a breakthrough in the logjam over Jan Lokpal Bill seems finally in sight. The social activist has declared that he is ready to give up his fast after the government agreed to discuss his version of Lokpal in Parliament.
Team Anna’s prominent member Kiran Bedi announced Thursday evening that the social activist will end his fast after key issues flagged by his group are resolved.
"Anna, as I heard, will end his fast only if resolutions on the three issues are passed by Parliament," Bedi tweeted on the microblogging website Twitter.com.
Prior to this, Anna Hazare once again took on the government over lokpal Bill issue from his dais. Speaking in front of a cheering crowd, Anna informed, “I have sent a message to the Prime Minister. I have asked him to start the discussions on our version of Jan Lokpal bill immediately in Parliament.”
The social activist further added, “I have also set three conditions for the government and if they agree, I might think about ending my fast.”
The three conditions that Anna set for the government include bringing lower bureaucracy within the ambit of the Lokpal. That would mean all government officials of the country from the block level to secretariat are covered. All officials found corrupt should be jailed and their properties attached.
Second, Anna demanded that Lokayukta be created in every state. The Lokayukta should have powers equal to that of Lokpal and should be an independent authority, as per the Gandhian’s demand.
The third and final condition is that there must be citizen’s charter. There should be a deadline for government officials to perform any task, failing which they must be fined.
Anna informed that he has written a letter in this regard to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and sent it through Vilasrao Deshmukh who had come to meet him in Ramlila Maidan.
Boosting the morale of his supporters, Anna said, “The fight should continue whether I am there or not. We must think about the condition of farmers in the country which is very bad. We need to change the situation.”
Referring to the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament earlier in the day, Anna said, “The PM has saluted our movement. This adulation is for my supporters and the people of this country.”
“I thank everyone who supported and praised our campaign in Parliament,” he added.
But the social activist seemed sceptical of the government. Cautioning his supporters, Anna said, “I am doubtful about them because this could also be a conspiracy. They have cheated us in the past and should not be trusted blindly. They say they are concerned about my health. I ask them- where were they for past ten days?”
His ire was not only against the ruling government. The Gandhian also targeted Opposition parties saying, “I also don’t trust the opposition. Even they are not opposing the government. They are also scared that if the bill is passed then they might lose their positions.”
Even though Anna hinted to end his fast, he vowed to continue the protest till the Jan Lokpal Bill is passed. “I will only end my fast but will not end my agitation. I will stay here in Ramlila Maidan. If they evacuate me forcibly then we all should court arrest and go to jail,” Anna said.