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File: Sanjay Rawat
Anna Hazare Begins Indefinite Fast for Jan Lokpal Bill

Anna Hazare today started his indefinite hunger strike here to press the government for immediate passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

"I offered prayers at the local temple before beginning the fast and asked god to give the government subuddhi (conscience) to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill," Hazare told reporters, minutes before commencing the fast.

Talking to PTI, Hazare said, "Jan Lokpal Bill will be big step towards nation building."

Accusing Congress of "betrayal", he said time has come for the UPA government to deliver on its promise or quit.

The social activist, who had shot to national limelight with his fasts in Delhi over the issue, has chosen Yadav Baba temple in his native village Ralegan Siddi this time as his protest venue.

Hazare said the Congress should understand the reality after the serious drubbing it received in the just-concluded assembly elections and ensure the passage of the Lokpal Bill in the Winter Session of Parliament.

Last week, he had told reporters that Parliamentary Affairs Minister V Narayanasamy had sent a letter detailing steps taken by the government to bring in the Lokpal Bill.

"If Prime Minister Manmohan Singh can pledge to get the Prevention of Communal Violence Bill passed in Parliament, why can't he do the same for the much-delayed anti-graft law?" Hazare asked.

Recalling his earlier hunger fast in Delhi, Hazare said, "Sonia Gandhi wrote a letter saying that the government is ready to bring the Jan Lokpal Bill and asked me to end the fast. I trusted her and I ended my fast."

"I didn't know that this UPA government will betray the public and me," he said.

When asked whether Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejariwal is welcome to Ralegan Siddhi to support his fast, the Gandhian said, "Everyone, including Kejariwal is welcome. The only condition is that they must come without the banner of a political party."

"If one wants to bring in change in the country, then only government, opposition or any other party, they cannot change the future of the country...It has been made clear in the 68 years of independence. There is only one way...The people of the country have to get organised," Hazare said.

"Azadi ka arth swarachar laga ke chalne wale logo ke virod me andolan karna hain (The struggle is against those people who are working on their own terms). This is the only way to save the country," he said.

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Digression

12/D-116
Dec 11, 2013
03:21 PM

I have a different take. I hope finally Anna Hazare and Kejriwal can as a combination bring to bear a wrecking ball from the outside and one from the inside, to dismantle and change the system. The primacy of the citizen over the governing class must be established - the current system of the governing class as the VVIP mai-baap of the citizen will ensure what happens today will keep happening.

A system like ours, well entrenched with many vested interests, can't be changed from the inside only - most likely those entering inside will either be co-opted or thrown out soon. Changing it only from the outside pressures (wrecking ball) also doesn't seem to be alone possible. May be the outside-inside combine has a chance.

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
11/D-83
Dec 11, 2013
01:21 PM

"When asked whether Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejariwal is welcome to Ralegan Siddhi to support his fast, the Gandhian said, "Everyone, including Kejariwal is welcome. The only condition is that they must come without the banner of a political party."

Annaji you must understand that purpose of Kejriwal is over.....And RSS will not commit same mistake by mobilising people supporting you and provide free Tea, Cofee and Food at Fasting venue..

Annaji "What Goes Around Comes Around"

Jaykumar, Ahmedabad
10/D-50
Dec 11, 2013
11:08 AM

With the photos in the background Anna seems to be canvassing for the Congress.

K.Suresh, Bangalore
9/D-46
Dec 11, 2013
10:39 AM

@Ram - "Anna had his moment... his "15 minutes of fame"."

Anna's 15 minutes has provided Kejriwal with Jupiter's escape velocity.

K.Suresh, Bangalore
8/D-39
Dec 11, 2013
08:49 AM

Atlast finally we see so many getting it right,Anna feels he has been left out.

Kejriwal has taken it all,hence this farce.

Honestly the first time when Anna went on a fast he had nothing but Jan Lok Pal,but its Kjriwal now.

Kiran Bedi who was by Anna when he went on fast,is no where to be seen

harun, chennai
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