Spirited Anna says he is fit and fine

Gandhian Anna Hazare who is holding an indefinite fast demanding a stronger Lokpal Bill said he is perfectly fit and won’t back down till he gets what he wants.

Last Updated: Aug 19, 2011, 00:51 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Gandhian Anna Hazare who is on an indefinite fast said on Thursday that he is perfectly fit and will not back down till the nation gets a stronger Lokpal Bill.

Hazare said there was nothing to worry about his health. “Don’t worry about my health. I am perfectly fit. I am not tired at all,” he said in a video message to his supporters from Tihar Jail.

The 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader said that he is getting energy from the people who are supporting him.
“Protests by all my brothers and sisters, the elderly and the children is giving me a new energy. I am indeed overwhelmed by their support,” he said.

The Gandhian made it clear that he will continue his fight till the country gets a strong anti-corruption ombudsman.

“I will not stop fighting till I get a stronger Lokpal,” Hazare said three days after he started his fast to press for a stronger Lokpal Bill.

The anti-corruption crusader asked the government not to take too long to bring in a stronger Lokpal Bill.
“So many people have come out on the roads. Their lives have become miserable because of corruption and price rise. Everywhere they have to pay bribes to get their works done. This is why they have come on roads as a last resort after exhausting all options,” he said.

“The nation wants a stronger Lokpal Bill to check corruption. The government can see the writing on the wall. It should not waste time,” he added.

The Gandhian said, “This is not a question of Anna Hazare. The people of this country are fed up with the rampant corruption. Their level of tolerance has reduced.”

Hazare will move to Ramlila Maidan from Tihar jail on Friday.

The stand-off between Anna Hazare and government ended with an agreement showing give-and-take on both sides as the Gandhian will launch an indefinite fast at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan from Friday. The fast will continue for 15 days subject to certain conditions.

A breakthrough in the deadlock over conditions imposed on Hazare`s protest fast was achieved in the small hours of the day after two nights of hard bargaining.

Significantly, Team Hazare made it clear that his fast would not be a fast-unto-death and he will be on hunger strike only till his health permits.

Close on the heels of the deal, Team Hazare also hinted that it may not insist on inclusion of higher judiciary in the Lokpal Bill if government brings a "good" Judicial Accountability Bill.

The activists also pleaded that the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by them should at least be brought to Parliament for its consideration.

The civil society led by Anna Hazare have been demanding inclusion of Prime Minister, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament under the ambit of Lokpal.

The Hazare team is also demanding a strong public grievance redressal mechanism, lokayuktas at state-level and independent selection, funding and removal mechanism to ensure autonomy of function.

The Lokpal Bill cleared by the cabinet seeks to keep the office of the Prime Minister outside the purview of the ombudsman during his term in office and also exclude higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament.

The Lokpal, consisting of chairperson and eight members, half of them judicial, will have its own prosecution and investigation wing with officers and staff necessary to carry out its functions.