Warning that a wave of protest is building up,Anna Hazare on Monday asked the government to bring a strong Lokpal Bill or quit while his team softened its stand on yoga guru Ramdev whom they attacked yesterday for sharing dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
After an impressive turnout yesterday,the morning crowd at the fast venue of Jantar Mantar was small but it grew to around 2,000 in the afternoon.
As the Gandhian’s fast entered the second day and his aides’ sixth day,Team Anna said the government will have to send a messenger to the 74-year-old activist if it wanted to resolve the issue.
They also came with a bizarre statement during the day by appearing to see a conspiracy in the collapse of the northern power grid,alleging that new developments are happening as Hazare is sitting on an indefinite fast.
A group of the social activist supporters also staged a protest outside Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar’s residence.
Strong words against Ramdev,who had pledged support to Hazare in his fight against corruption,were missing at the fast venue with Team Anna member Kumar Vishwas setting the tone that the yoga guru was free to meet whoever he wanted to.
Activist Kiran Bedi said Ramdev has the right to meet whom he wants to and the cause for which both Hazare and the yoga guru were fighting is the same.
The goal is same. Ramdev is free to meet anybody. We have nothing against Ramdev meeting anybody. We have also met opposition leaders earlier, she said.
On Modi,she said the case of the Gujarat chief minister is before the courts and let courts take a decision.
Team Anna had yesterday strongly reacted to Ramdev sharing dais with Modi and praising him saying he found no basis for allegations of corruption in Gujarat.
Sanjay Singh,Team Anna Core Committee member,yesterday described Modi as a murderer of humanity and said Ramdev has to explain his sharing dais with the senior BJP leader. Hazare has not reacted to Ramdev’s meeting with Modi.
Hazare had last year courted controversy after praising Modi,remarks which were later clarified as commending his initiatives for rural development. A section in Team Anna is against association with Ramdev.
Asked whether the government has opened any channel of communication,Bedi answered in the negative.
Dialogue with whom? Whom should we trust? Why don’t they (government) come? They should send a messenger to Anna if they want to talk, Bedi said.
On his part,Hazare said,The way this wave of protest against corruption is building in the country,I am getting this feeling that the government would have to bring a strong Lokpal Bill or else it will have to go.
His close aide Arvind Kejriwal,who is into his sixth day of fasting,tweeted,This time its do or die. Dedicate this week for the country. Take off from your work and college. Take to streets. Just one week.
Pray for a corruption free India. I am very,very confident that time for India has arrived. Future belongs to India. And it will happen soon, he added.
On the power grid failure,Kumar Vishwas,a member of Team Anna’s Core Committee who is conducting the proceedings along with another activist Sanjay Singh at the Hazare fast venue,said the government can do anything but people will come out and join the Hazare movement.
The government can cut the grid,cut electricity,cut metro services,bus,auto services. But people will join Anna Hazare’s movement.
The government is still arrogant and dictatorial. The time till Anna sits on fast new developments are happening in Delhi. Today,the grid has failed,metro is down,but to reach here you don’t need metro or a car. You need only will and courage, he said.