Sunday, December 11, 2011
Indian Anti- Corruption Activist Began His Day-long Token Fast
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare began his day-long token fast at Jantar Mantar to press for a strong Lokpal Bill to-day.
Before beginning his one-day fast at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, Anna Hazare, accompanied by his team member Kiran Bedi, visited Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
People had gathered at Rajghat before Anna arrived there.
Before heading for Anna's one-day fast and Lokpal debate at Jantar Mantar, Kiran Bedi praised Anna and said that she was blessed to be associated with him.
"He is a true Indian and a motivation. Anna is the voice of the poor," Kiran Bedi said.
Anna Hazare has returned to the national capital for what will be his third fast on the Lokpal issue for the year. Anna will sit on a one-day token fast at Jantar Mantar on Sunday.
Slamming the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Saturday, Anna reiterated his demands for the inclusion of the lower bureaucracy and merging the CBI with the Lokpal and now he has invited the leaders of all political parties to participate in an open debate to state their stands.
All political parties except the UPA allies have agreed to join debate in public on the Lokpal issue at Jantar Mantar. NDA leaders Arun Jaitley and Sharad Yadav and CPI (M) leader Brinda Karat are expected to participate in the debate.
While Anna will fast in Delhi, his supporters will hold simultaneous protests in Mumbai, Pune, Chennai and Bangalore and seven other cities.
Meanwhile, the government has gone into a damage control mode and is likely to call an all-party meeting on Wednesday to evolve a consensus on the issue in Parliament. Team Anna says the debate at Jantar Mantar will be unlike the chaotic scenes in Parliament and will be without any adjournments.
Congress spokesperson Janardhan Dwivedi has accused Anna and his team of going against the Constitution by holding a debate outside Parliament.
"I think it is not correct to hold public debates on an issue as the Ombudsman Bill without a ruling on it in the proceedings of the parliament. Anna Hazare and his associates is trying to go against the constitution and parliament by holding any such debate," Dwivedi said. "If the government does not pass the Lokpal Bill by December 22, I will launch an agitation in the poll bound states," Anna had said earlier. "The standing committee has even crippled the CBI and reduced the Lokpal to a post office," said Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal.
Team Anna Member Kiran Bedi said, "I think this is the first time you have an event of the kind where it's like an open debate outside Parliament, near Parliament, but outside with no adjournments."
Anna plans to go on another agitation from December 27 if the government does not pass the Lokpal Bill, which matches his proposed Jan Lokpal Bill.