Hazare refuses to budge, asks govt to quit if can’t get Lokpal Bill through

first_imgWith Prime Minister Manmohan Singh ready for a “give and take” on the Lokpal Bill, fasting activist Anna Hazare on the sixth day of his fast accused the government of “betraying” the civil society on the issue. He warned of “unprecedented revolution” in the country if the Jan Lokpal Bill was not passed by August 30 and said the government will have to “either get the Bill passed or go”.Calling his campaign against corruption as the beginning of “second struggle for Independence”, the 73-year-old Gandhian on Sunday asked the youth to keep the “flame of revolution burning whether Anna is alive or not”. He also asked his supporters to hold dharnas in front of houses of MPs in their constituencies and demand written commitments in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill. (In pics: Brand Anna is hot & hit )Speaking at the Ramlila Maidan, Kiran Bedi asked people to sport ‘Anna cap’ as it symbolises nation’s need for a corruption-free India.There was speculation that the government was trying to engage Hazare in back channel talks and was looking to have interlocutors from his home state Maharashtra, including Umesh Chandra Sarangi, an additional chief secretary to the state government.Spiritual guru Bhayyu Maharaj was another choice for a negotiator with Hazare, according to informed sources in the government. (Video: Delhi bikers join agitation)But RTI activist and Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal rejected the reports. “The government has sent us a new proposal but hasn’t incorporated any of our demands. So, there is no breakthrough in the talks,” he said at the Ramlila Maidan.advertisementMeanwhile, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said the government desired “a new chapter of talks with the civil society” and added that the constitution “can accommodate all views”. Anna warns govtAnna Hazare speaks at Ramlila Maidan.Noting that he has been fighting against corruption for the past 20 years, Anna Hazare said the government betrayed them on the Lokpal issue despite constituting a joint committee for drafting the bill.”They constituted a joint committee after my fast in April. But nothing came out of that meeting despite talking for two months. They betrayed the civil society. The government’s intention to fight corruption is not noble,” he said at Ramlila Maidan.He also recalled the struggle in the run up to RTI Act being passed in Parliament and said the legislation has now brought scams like 2G and Adarsh to light.Hazare said there was no “dark spot” in his life otherwise his opponents would have “broken my life”.A corrupt PM threat to nation: Prashant BhushanLawyer and Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan also spoke at the Ramlila Maidan and reiterated their demand to bring the prime minister under the ambit of the Lokpal.”The government says if the prime minister is investigated for corruption charges, the government will be shaken. But if the prime minister is corrupt and no investigation is done, this will be a great danger to the country’s security,” he said.Bhushan also said the Team Anna was ready to talk to the government, but would not compromise on its core issues. “We are ready to talk if they are ready. Our Jan Lokpal Bill has been amended 13 times. All suggestions have been included,” he said.He also demanded that the government bring a strong Judicial Accountability Bill along with the Lokpal Bill.India needs Anna: Sri Sri RavishankarSri Sri Ravishankar at Ramlila Maidan with Anna Hazare.Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar on Sunday said the movement against corruption launched by Anna Hazare is making “new history” and pitched for reforms in electoral and other sectors.Addressing the gathering at Ramlila Maidan, the venue of Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast demanding a strong Lokpal Bill, termed the Gandhian as a “saint” who has come to save the country and make it strong.”I congratulate the team, inspite of all the allegations, they held their head high and continued their resolve without bending down,” he said.Thousands march for AnnaAnna Hazare’s supporters march from India Gate to Ramlila Maidan.Rallying behind Anna Hazare’s campaign against corruption, thousands of people in Delhi on Sunday marched a distance of five kilometres from India Gate to Ramlila Maidan.Slogans supporting Anna Hazare and opposing the government’s Lokpal Bill could be heard all along the way as people marched peacefully in support of the anti-corruption activist.Team Anna members Swami Agnivesh and Kiran Bedi joined thousands of people at the India Gate and led the rally.Delhiites were not alone in the endeavour as people from neighbouring states like Punjab, Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh too joined in the long march to send a strong message to the Government.advertisementSocial networking sites like Facebook and Google Plus were abuzz with messages that a grand rally will be organised at India Gate on Sunday evening. The messages also asked people to come out in large numbers.Hazare thanks peopleSupporters of Anna Hazare at Ramlila Maidan.Hazare came to the podium at around 10 am as supporters started pouring into Ramlila Maidan.”I thank all of you for coming here and supporting the movement,” the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader said in a brief comment.In a setback to the government, the second consecutive night of the Gandhian’s protest witnessed more crowds than the first.last_img

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