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.
© Copyright PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of any PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.