New Delhi: With the government not willing to lower its stand on the Lokpal issue, social activist Anna Hazare on Monday refused to surrender before it and announced that he will go ahead with his August 16 plans to hold a stir on the issue.
The civil rights crusader, while speaking to Zee News, said, “There is no question of surrendering before the government. We are not afraid of anyone. We just want the government to present the Lokpal Bill in its right format.”
Replying to a question that his stand on the Lokpal Bill is leading to a confrontation with the government machinery, Anna said, “We are not against this government. We want this government to functional smoothly. We are only demanding that the government should allow a comprehensive debate on all aspects of the Bill inside the Parliament.”
Elaborating more the subject, Anna said, “I don’t know why the government is averse to discussing the draft prepared by the civil rights activists. What is wrong in bringing all important persons under the purview of the Lokpal Bill? Why is the centre hesitating when all the chief ministers of Congress-ruled states have assured that they will abide by any decision taken by the centre on the issue?”
Coming down hard on the government, Anna said, “The government lacks political will power. Its intentions are not clear. Should not it be the duty of the government to turn India into a prosperous and politically strong country. But it is misleading the nation and the people of this country on this issue.”
He added that his protest from August 16 is not against Parliament but against the "weak Lokpal bill prepared by the government".
When quizzed why is he now ready to consider other venue to hold his proposed stir, Anna said, “The issue is that corruption needs to be rooted out. We are not worried about the venue."
Hazare`s remarks came as Delhi Police suggested that he must look for an alternative site in the city`s outskirts like Burari in North Delhi or Ajmal Khan Park in West Delhi if he wants to go ahead with his protest for more than a day.
Delhi Police has said they have not taken a final view on giving permission to Hazare`s protest at Jantar Mantar and are awaiting reply from his team on certain points raised by it.
In a letter send to the Hazare team which sought permission for the protest starting from August 16, police have asked them to clarify how many days they propose to sit on dharna and the expected number of people who will gather at the protest site.
A senior police official said they have told the Hazare team in the letter that police could give permission to the Gandhian to hold the protest at Jantar Mantar if it is for a day which could see a participation of not more than 2,000 people.
"We have neither granted permission nor denied it as of now. We are awaiting reply from them to our letter sent 10 days ago," a senior police official said.
Delhi Police has cited a 2009 order of the Supreme Court and has said that they cannot give permission for indefinite dharna anywhere in Delhi including in Jantar Mantar as Parliament would be in session beginning August 1.