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Chronology of an epochal fast

Chronology of a fast that forced Indian Parliament to acknowledge people`s power and established civil society`s primacy in a democracy.



New Delhi: Chronology of a fast that forced Indian Parliament to acknowledge people`s power and established civil society`s primacy in a democracy:

Jan 30: Marches in over 60 cities to demand anti-corruption Lokpal bill. Social reformer Anna Hazare, former top cop Kiran Bedi, activist Swami Agnivesh and lawyer Prashant Bhushan participate in Delhi rally.

Feb 26: Hazare announces fast unto death from April 5 if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not decide on civil society`s inclusion in drafting the bill.

April 5: Hazare starts fast at Delhi`s Jantar Mantar.

April 8: Hazare announces decision to end fast as government agrees to form 10-member panel of civil society members and union ministers to draft a stringent anti-corruption law.

April 9: Hazare ends fast.

April 16: Joint committee`s first meet cordial. Both sides exchange drafts.

May 2: Second meet with "no difference of opinion".

May 7: Agreement on independent Lokpal with powers to initiate investigation and prosecution.

May 23: Agreement on empowering Lokpal to order list of movable and immovable assets of accused in corruption cases when sufficient evidence found to book them.

May 30: Differences appear as government disagrees on including prime minister, Supreme and High Court judges and MPs` conduct in parliament within Lokpal`s ambit.

June 6: Civil society members boycott meet a day after police crackdown against yoga guru Baba Ramdev`s fast in Delhi`s Ramlila Maidan.

June 15: No consensus on inclusion of prime minister, Supreme and High Court judges.

June 20: Some ice melts amid war of words; government calls it "major step forward".

June 21: Last meeting of joint committee ends on sour note. Both sides exchange drafts; Hazare warns of another fast.

Aug 15: Hazare denied permission to fast at Delhi`s Jayaprakash Narayan Memorial Park after Team Anna agrees to accept only 16 of police`s 22 conditions.

Aug 16: Hazare begins fast, detained early morning and sent to seven-day judicial custody to Tihar jail. Government decides to set him free late night. He refuses.

Aug 17: Hazare refuses to leave Tihar Jail till a solution is reached on fast venue. Supporters gather outside prison, Hazare continues fast from jail. Permitted to fast at Ramlila Maidan.

Aug 19: Hazare leaves Tihar Jail, continues fast at Ramlila Maidan.

Aug 23: Government invites Team Anna for talks.

Aug 24: Second round of talks, all-party meeting held. No breakthrough in impasse.

Aug 25: After meetings with political parties and Team Anna, government agrees to debate all versions of Lokpal bill in Parliament.

Aug 27: Both houses of Parliament debate Lokpal bill, adjourn after adopting `sense of the House` and agreeing to Hazare`s three demands that will be sent to standing committee on Lokpal bill.

Aug 28: Anna breaks fast on 13th day.

IANS

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