Pune/Bhopal: Anna Hazare on Thursday said he
was not afraid of death and dared the government to fire
bullets in the event of his going on fast to press for a
strong Lokpal bill.
"Anna is not afraid of death. They can fire bullets
and not just use lathis to repress our agitation and the
people of this country will decide whether India has a
democratic rule or a dictatorship," Hazare told reporters.
The anti-corruption crusader said this in Pune when
asked to comment on Congress general secretary Digvijay
Singh`s remarks on his plans to go on a fast from August 16.
Digvijay Singh however denied saying that the social
activist would be given a treatment similar to yoga guru
Ramdev if he goes on fast unto death.
"I am surprised and pained at reports in today`s
newspapers which quoted me as saying that the treatment given
to Ramdev would also be meted out to Anna Hazare," the
Congress General Secretary said in Bhopal.
Singh said that during his interaction with reporters
yesterday in Jabalpur what he said was that the Congress had
nothing to do with the manner in which either Hazare or
Ramdev will be treated.
He said Congress had nothing to do with how the two
were treated as it is always decided by the local
administration after assessing the prevailing situation at
The outspoken leader maintained that if there was a
need for holding a fast, the younger activists of civil
society like Arvind Kejriwal or Prashant Bhushan should do it
instead of Hazare.
Hazare, who was on his way to his native village
Ralegaon in Ahmednagar district, also wondered whether the
present Congress party was the same that had links with
Mahatma Gandhi and leaders like Kamraj.
Asserting that to protest is the democratic right of
every citizen, Hazare said, "Congress seems determined to
crush our agitation for a strong Lokpal. But it should be
remembered now that it is not just Anna Hazare but the entire
country that is supporting this agitation and the people will
teach them a lesson".