Updated: September 10, 2021 7:28:53 am
Octogenarian activist Anna Hazare has asked his supporters to be ready to launch an agitation against the Uddhav Thackeray-led Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra for its failure to “hold timely meetings” of the Lokayukta Act drafting committee and thereby delaying the implementation of the important act.
In a statement released to the media, Hazare said he has been pressing the state government to enact a Lokayukta Act as per Section 63 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act 2013, which was enacted by Parliament after agitations by Hazare and his supporters, but there has been little progress.
He said although the drafting of the law is in its final stages, the state government had suspended the meetings after the pandemic outbreak last year and has not resumed them despite repeated requests and letters from Hazare to Chief Minister Thackeray, Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and Chief Secretary Sitaram Kunte.
“I suspect the government is deliberately avoiding holding the remaining meetings. Presently, there is a lot of corruption in the state. Particularly, the corruption of some of the ministers is coming forth. Due to increasing corruption, it is becoming difficult for the common man to survive. Unfortunately, it is seen that both, the central and the state government, are not taking any steps to curtail corruption,” Hazare said.
“Therefore, to have an independent Lokayukta in Maharashtra, perhaps the time has come for me to steer a non-violent agitation at the age of 85 years, for the benefit of the citizens. I appeal to the volunteers of different districts and talukas to get ready for a mass agitation. If required, we would have to undertake a statewide agitation,” wrote Hazare.
Hazare said that for the same demand, he had staged a seven-day hunger strike in 2019 during Devendra Fadnavis’s regime and, at that time, Thackeray and Pawar had expressed support for his demand. Now, however, both of them are turning a blind eye to his demand, he said.
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