Anna Hazare begins fast: ‘Either pass Janlokpal Bill or I will die’

Anna Hazare begins fast: ‘Either pass Janlokpal Bill or I will die’


Anna Hazare said that his fast — starting from Tuesday —will go on until the Rajya Sabha passes the Janlokpal Bill. He said that mere promises will not do this time. "The government has given us many promises but later backtracked. This time I will not break my fast on any promise. Either pass the Bill or I will die," he said. The Bill has been stuck in the Rajya Sabha since November 2012. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


He attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for deliberately ignoring the Janlokpal Bill while making special efforts to pass other Bills. "The PM is hurrying on the Anti-Riot Bill while cold-shouldering the Jan Lokpal Bill. It only shows that if they want they can pass Bills but they don't have the will power to fight corruption," he said. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


He said that he was feeling slightly weak because of the recent surgery but sacrifices are needed to be made if the country has to be changed for better. Observers,however,have expressed serious doubts if this protest will gather the same steam as Anna's earlier fasts gathered. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


"All those brains which planned and executed his fasts have been distanced by Anna. Apart from Kejriwal — who crafted the protests plans to the last details — other aides like Kiran Bedi,Sunita Godara have also left him. Moreover,Anna has disbanded the well structured group of India Against Corruption (IAC) which had a presence in almost all the states and has decided to go with V K Singh and formed Jantantra Morcha," said a former colleague of Anna. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


He said there's also an absence of any plan as to how people from outside Ralegan Siddhi will be able to participate and express their support and whatever support the agitation will get will largely depend on media coverage. "Even Anna knows that he won't be able to repeat what he did in Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Ground. That's why he has chosen to undertake the fast in the safe havens of his village," he added. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


Anna Hazare has always maintained that if he were to contest election,he would lose his security deposit because of the lack of money and muscle power which had become a must in the "deteriorated political system in the country". On Monday,when reporters asked him to explain how Arvind Kejriwal and his party succeeded in elections,these barriers notwithstanding and replied: "What I could never do,has been done by my sainik," he said. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


Hazare,who was briefing who media on the indefinite fast,went on to say that had he campaigned for Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi Assembly polls,Kejriwal would have become the Chief Minister. Hazare said that he was impressed by Kejriwal's decision not to enter into alliance with any political party to form the government. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)


"Had there been any other leader he would have taken support from Congress's eight MLAs and become the CM. But Arvind showed restraint. I liked it very much," he said. Anna added that AAP has emerged as a third. (IE Photo: Pavan Khengr)