Social activist Anna Hazare Wednesday began a hunger strike at his village in Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra demanding formation of a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states. Hazare had announced his agitation in December last year, saying that it was wrong to trust the “lies” of the BJP-led government at the Centre.
He had threatened an agitation in October 2018, which he called off after Maharashtra Minister Girish Mahajan, on behalf of the BJP government in the state and the Centre, met him to discuss the issue.
Hazare, in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi dated January 28, said he would launch his strike Wednesday as his demands have not been fulfilled. “Nine months have passed, yet the demands have not been fulfilled. Hence, I will be on hunger strike in my village Ralegan Siddhi on January 30,” Hazare said, reported news agency PTI.
“It has been five years since the Lokpal Act was passed. Yet the Narendra Modi government has not appointed Lokpal. Lokayukta Act has not been passed in Maharashtra for four years,” he added.
This time around, as well, Mahajan attempted to convince Hazare to cancel his agitation, claiming that his demands were being fulfilled.
The Lokpal and Lokayukta Act was enacted in December 2013. Under the Act, the government at the Centre and state has to constitute a body to deal with complaints relating to corruption.
Hazare has refused to call off his strike until the Lokayukta Act is implemented. “The agitation will go on until the act is in place,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
An eight-member search panel to select members of the Lokpal held its first meeting on Tuesday, officials said. The panel, headed by former Supreme Court judge Ranjana Prakash Desai, discussed modalities related to the appointments of the chief and members of Lokpal, The Indian Express reported.
The Supreme Court has given a deadline of February-end for the search committee to send a panel of names who could be considered for the appointment as chairman and members of Lokpal by Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led selection committee.