Hazare to end fast Sunday, says only half battle won (Lead)

August 27th, 2011 - 11:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare New Delhi, Aug 27 (IANS) After 12 days of fasting for an anti-corruption law that galvanized tens of thousands across India, Anna Hazare announced Saturday night that he will call off his protest at 10 a.m. Sunday.

Looking weak but sounding jubilant, Hazare, 74, told the cheering crowds at Ramlila ground that he would end his hunger strike now that parliament had taken the first step to frame a strong Lokpal bill.

But the soldier-turned-activist warned that only half the battle had been won in the fight for a corruption free India.

“We have won only half the battle, we are yet to win the full battle,” he said, addressing the gathering after cabinet minister Vilasrao Deshmukh gave him a letter from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Hazare credited the “victory” to everyone who took part in the campaign for an effective Lokpal bill all over the country since he began his fast Aug 16 after police detained him here.

“The students, the youths, the housewives, it is their victory,” he thundered, drawing a huge round of applause. “The people who remained here (Ramlila ground), it is their victory.”

The crowds went wild with joy when he said: “It is your victory.”

Hazare said he would end his fast at 10 a.m. “in your presence … and with your permission”.

Thousands of hands went up when he asked loudly: “Raise your hands if I have your permission to break the fast.”

The anti-corruption crusader asked people to celebrate Sunday but said this should be done peacefully.

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