Anna to go on fast from July 29 on corruption (Lead)July 24th, 2012 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) Brushing aside concerns over his poor health, Anna Hazare Tuesday announced that he will go on an indefinite fast from July 29 if the government fails to take immediate steps to check corruption in high places.
Reversing his earlier decision, Hazare said he will join his team members if the government does not agree to their demands within four days of their fast which will begin Wednesday, the day president-elect Pranab Mukherjee will be sworn-in.
The members also hit out at the president-elect and termed his election as “unfortunate.”
However, there were different voices from Hazare and his team members. While Hazare spoke mostly on Jan Lokpal bill, his team members focussed on rampant corruption in the government and its institution.
“They (Team Anna members) suggested I don’t fast. I will give four days to the government to agree to our demand and if they don’t, I will sit on an indefinite fast from July 29,” said Hazare, who had earlier decided not to go on fast due to his health problems.
“Even if I die, I will die for my country,” said the social activist.
This is not the first time Hazare, 75, is sitting on a fast. This will be his third indefinite hunger strike demanding a strong Jan Lokpal Bill that checks corruption at all levels. His earlier protests stirred a nationwide movement.
His protests also forced the government to introduce the Lokpal bill in the parliament. Though the Lok Sabha passed the bill, the Rajya Sabha is yet to clear it.
Speaking to reporters, the anti-corruption crusader said: “The government has deceived us again and again and tried to malign us. This government is trying to break my team.”
According to Hazare, the corrupt politicians present inside the union cabinet and parliament could never allow for a bill like Lokpal to be passed.
“Even before Lokpal, we demand that these tainted politicians should be brought to trial,” he said.
Detailing Team Anna’s demands, Hazare’s key aide Arvind Kejriwal said that they have demanded “formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of three retired Supreme Court judges who have the confidence of the Indian public, to investigate the 15 tainted cabinet members, against whom, we have given proofs.”
Team Anna had earlier given documents which they claimed contained proofs of graft against 15 union cabinet members, including Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“As many as 162 Lok Sabha members and 39 Rajya Sabha members are also facing corruption charges. We demand that their cases should also be given to the fast track courts,” Kejriwal added.
On Mukherjee’s election as president, Kejriwal said: “it is unfortunate that the constitution, which was meant to prevent corruption, gives immunity from both investigation and prosecution to the president. But we will continue to bring out his (Mukherjee’s) misdeeds in public.”
Fellow Team Anna member, Prashant Bhushan added that “if the state of corruption in the country went unchecked, it would lead India towards civil war”.
Bhushan’s father Shashi Bhushan claimed that the anti-graft movement would succeed in bringing out system-wide changes and “create a system of governance envisioned by Mahatma Gandhi.”
- Team Anna begins indefinite fast for a stringent Lokpal (Second Lead) - Jul 25, 2012
- Team Anna calls off fast, to form 'political alternative' (Roundup) - Aug 02, 2012
- Hazare gives ultimatum on Jan Lokpal bill - Jul 24, 2012
- Jan Lokpal is thrust of our movement: Anna (Lead) - Jul 26, 2012
- Team Anna launches fast, targets Pranab, PM (Roundup) - Jul 25, 2012
- Ralegan-Siddhi villagers back Hazare - Jul 29, 2012
- Anna breaks one-day token fast - Mar 25, 2012
- Bring Lokpal or go, Anna tells UPA (Lead) - Jul 30, 2012
- Hazare's health stable on second day of fast - Jul 30, 2012
- Listen to doctors, Delhi Police tells Team Anna - Aug 01, 2012
- Split wide open; government, Team Hazare plan own versions (Roundup) - Jun 15, 2011
- Team Anna ends fast, spells out political alternative (Lead) - Aug 03, 2012
- Hazare's fast enters fourth day - Aug 01, 2012
- Hazare begins indefinite fast - Jul 29, 2012
- Three sticking points with government: Team Anna - Aug 24, 2011
Tags: anna hazare, corrupt politicians, corruption in the government, crusader, different voices, health problems, indefinite hunger strike, Lok Sabha, lokpal bill, New Delhi, parliament, poor health, pranab mukherjee, president elect, protests, rajya sabha, rampant corruption, social activist, team members, union cabinet