Government cheated us: Hazare (Lead)

July 28th, 2012 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Day Four of Team Anna’s indefinite fast against corruption at Jantar Mantar here Saturday saw Anna Hazare attack the government saying that it has cheated them time and again. He ruled out contesting an election.

“We have been cheated by the government again and again, from the start till now. First by the (Lokpal bill) draft committee, then by the (parliament’s) standing committee and then in parliament,” Hazare said.

Hazare made it clear that he would not contest elections and said the “country’s future is not safe with the Congress and the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party)”.

He said he would go around the country and urge people to select people to fight elections, adding that his team would probe their background and then put their names on the internet seeking people’s opinion on them.

“From among them, we will put up some people for election. I will go for their campaigning and tell people that these are good candidates and we need good people in parliament,” he added.

“I will never stand as candidate for election, but if I remain alive, I will travel to all the states and find a suitable and genuine man and our team will campaign for him. We will not take any money or spend any money….”

Anna Hazare, likely to join the fast Sunday, pledged to fight and fast till he was alive.

“We too are not happy to go on hunger strike again and again but we are forced to,” Hazare added, addressing supporters at the Jantar Mantar.

There were thin crowds in the morning at the venue of Team Anna’s fast Saturday. About 200 people were on fast with them.

Hazare, along with his close aide Kumar Vishwas and Kiran Bedi, came to the venue around 10.30 a.m. Around 400 people had gathered by then.

The activist said that he was not worried about the dwindling number of supporters at his protests. “Crowds alone do not make a movement,” he said, adding that he was not bothered about how much crowd his fight was able to gather.

“The size of the crowd does not matter. I will be happy if even five people gather to support the movement. The protest is going on in 550 districts, so it is not correct to say that the crowd is huge or less,” Hazare said.

In Chennai, Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office V. Narayanasamy slammed Team Anna saying that there was lack of unity among the members of Anna Hazare’s team.

Talking to reporters at Chennai airport, he dismissed allegations levelled by Hazare accusing the government of trying to break his team by holding secret talks with him.

Narayanasamy said: “There is already no unity among the members of Anna Hazare’s team. So, there is no need for us to break their unity, as someone alleged.”

Team Anna members began their indefinite fast July 25 at Jantar Mantar to press for a stringent Jan Lokpal bill and demanding an inquiry into allegations of corruption against over a dozen ministers, including President Pranab Mukherjee when he was the finance minister.

The activists have permission to fast at Jantar Mantar till Aug 8, the day the monsoon session of parliament is expected to begin.

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