New Delhi: Anna Hazare Tuesday stuck to his
August 30 deadline for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill and asked his supporters to intensify the protest by gheraoing the houses of Parliamentarians if government failed to do so.
Addressing his supporters after nearly a break of 40
hours, Hazare, who entered the second week of his fast,
accused government of betraying all along the civil society on
the issue of a strong Lokpal Bill.
Hazare told the gathering at Ramlila Maidan that
protesters in thousands should protest outside the residences
of MPs if the government fails to get Jan Lokpal Bill passed
by August 30.
"Now, 25-30 people are sitting on dharnas in front of
MPs' residences. If the government does not pass the bill by
August 30, we have to intensify the protest. Protesters in
thousands should gherao the residences of MPs then," he said.
Alleging that a few people in the government were
"betraying" them, he said, "They betrayed us during the
meetings of Joint Committee (on Lokpal bill).
"I feel there are only 5-6 people in the government who
are running the country and if such people, who do not have a
social or national perspective, run the nation, then what will
happen to this country...This is something to worry about,"
"Even if Lokpal comes and if such traitors run the
country, what will happen. This is the question which is
bothering me," the 73-year-old Gandhian said.
He said he was watching for the past four months after
the government set up the Joint Committee for drafting Lokpal
bill. "Even there some people in the government were traitors,
they tried to betray us," he said.
The remarks came amidst indications from both government
and Team Anna about willingness to have talks on the issue
with the civil society members demanding nomination of an official representative for the purpose. They have suggested that government either withdraw the official bill or amend it by including provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
"Let the government mandate somebody officially. We are
waiting for a political dialogue. Today there is need for a
political dialogue. It is not a technical issue. It is not a
bureaucratic issue. It is a political problem," Hazare's close
aide, Arvind Kejriwal said .
"There has to be a political solution rather than saying
go and make your case to the Standing Committee. That is not
the way," he said.
He said officially they have not got any proposal from
Asked about various proposals being talked about,
Kejriwal said, "There are two options. The government can
withdraw its bill and introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill or the
government can bring amendments to the existing bill. The
government should make a list on the points it agrees or
However, Kejriwal said Hazare has not insisted that he
will talk only with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Congress
General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Team Anna is maintaining that no formal talks have begun
even as close aides of spiritual leader Bhayyuji Maharaj
handed over a fresh 11-point proposal to Hazare late in the
night. However, they could not meet the Gandhian as he was
Kejriwal said government should look into the 22 points
on which there are disagreements and say which ones are
First Published: Tuesday, August 23, 2011, 14:44