Anna Hazare springs surprise,says will fast alongside teamhttps://indianexpress.com/article/news-archive/latest-news/anna-hazare-springs-surprise-says-will-fast-alongside-team/

Anna Hazare springs surprise,says will fast alongside team

Anna issues deadline to govt over his demands; says failure will lead to agitation.

Reversing his earlier decision,Anna Hazare today said he will sit on an indefinite fast along with his team from tomorrow even as he issued an ultimatum to the government to concede to their demands in three-four days or face a fresh ‘jail bharo’ agitation.

“Anna arrives in Delhi. He says he will also be fasting,” his close aide Arvind Kejriwal tweeted this afternoon. A Team Anna spokesperson said Hazare will sit on an indefinite hunger strike along with Kejriwal,Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai.

Earlier,Hazare had announced that he will not sit on fast owing to health problems while his three Team Anna members will go on hunger strike to demand setting up of a Special Investigation Team to probe corruption allegations levelled by them against Ministers,a fast track court to try cases against MPs and for bringing a strong Lokpal Bill.

The reversal of his decision seems to be part of a Team Anna strategy to step up pressure on the government and drum up support for the protest at Jantar Mantar,the dharna hot spot in the national capital.

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Earlier in a video message,Hazare asked the government to take decisions on their demands in three-four days.

In his recorded message,Hazare said,”Let us see what the government does during the fast. If the government does not take any decision (on the demands raised by us) in the first three-four days of the agitation,I will tell people across the country to go on a jail bharo agitation.

“Not a single prison in the country should remain vacant,” he said and added that going to jail for the sake of the country is an “embellishment for your life”.

He said people should consider this protest as a second freedom struggle as the the government was “not doing anything” to bring a strong Lokpal Bill or taking action against corruption.

“Why they are not bringing Lokpal bill. Because 15 of the 35 ministers face corruption allegations. Probe them. Punish them if they are guilty. But the government is not willing to do so. We are left with only one way (to protest),” he said.

Anna fast: Govt highlights steps taken against corruption

New Delhi: Ahead of the indefinite fast by Anna Hazare and his team,the government today highlighted the slew of measures taken by it over the last one year to tackle corruption which include ending the discretionary powers of ministers and time-bound decisions on prosecution requests.

The measures also include bringing about transparency in delivery of services besides the passage of Lokpal Bill and Protection of Whistle-blowers’ Bill by the Lok Sabha.

According to the data compiled by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) on anti-corruption steps,the government has directed that requests for sanction of prosecution should be decided upon by the competent authority within a period of three months.

It was based on the recommendations of the Group of Ministers (GoM) set up in January 2011 to consider measures to tackle corruption which submitted two reports.

The government also decided that for all officers of the central government above the rank of Joint Secretary,the competent authority to approve initiation of enquiry/ investigation under Section 6A of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act will be the Minister-in-charge in the government.

The recommendation of the GoM to put in place regulatory parameters for exercise of discretionary powers by ministers and to place them in public domain was also accepted.

The data was released on the eve of the indefinite fast by Hazare and his team to press for concrete steps by government against corruption and action against some ministers whom they accuse of graft.

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The data also refers to the passage of a comprehensive Lokpal and Lakyuktas Bill,2011 and the Whistle-blowers’ Protection Bill 2011 by the Lok Sabha. Both these legislations are at present with the Rajya Sabha.

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