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Will resume fast if bill not passed: Hazare to PM

Mumbai: Anna Hazare today threatened to resume his fast on the last day of Parliament’s Winter Session if the government fails to get a strong Jan Lokpal Bill passed by then.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the 74-year-old activist said he did not find it right that responsible people in government and Congress were making remarks that creates doubts about the passage of the bill.

Hazare, who called off his 12-day hunger strike in Ramlila Maidan in August after eliciting a promise that his concerns will be addressed, said his team will also travel to various states to educate people about the need for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill when he resumes his fast.

The Winter Session of Parliament will begin on November 22 and ends on December 23. The government has been repeatedly asserting that it plans to introduce the significant Lokpal Bill during that session while Team Anna has been insisting the government pass the bill in this Session itself.

“I will begin my hunger strike agitation on the last day of the Session, if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed in the House and the team will tour various states to educate people about the issue,” Hazare said in the letter.

Hazare, who is observing vow of silence in Ralegan Siddhi since October 16, reminded Singh that he called off his hunger strike, which he began on August 16 at Ramlila Maidan, following a written assurance from the Prime Minister, which was conveyed to him by Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.

“If an effective Jan Lokpal Bill is in place, it would help the country to get rid of corruption and also help utilise more funds towards development work,” he said in the letter.

Hazare said it has become difficult for the common man to carry on with their life due to corruption.

“Due to corruption and price rise, it has become difficult for people to run their families. Out of Re one spent for development activities, only 10 paise is actually spent on development,” he said.

Hazare said if a strong Jan Lokpal is there, then it can put a break on 60 per cent of corruption which can provide relief for people.

The activist had yesterday indicated that he might discontinue the ‘maun vrat’ over the next couple of days as he wants to hold “open discussions” with his supporters.

In the coming Assembly elections in five states, Hazare urged that good candidates should be elected. “I will not take sides with one party or another but I urge people to vote for good people,” he said.

“Don’t vote for corrupt, ‘goondas’ and looters. Keep this in mind,” he said.

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