I can still walk 5 km on foot: Hazare (Lead)

August 18th, 2011 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) Gandhian activist Anna Hazare, who has been in Tihar Jail since Tuesday, says he felt healthy and energetic even after three days of fasting for a strong anti-corruption law.

“I will not stop fighting till I get the Lokpal Bill,” Hazare said in an interview telecast on news channels Thursday as protests in his support raged for a third straight day across India.

“My health is fine, don’t worry about me,” said the 74-year-old, who is no more a prisoner but who has refused to leave the jail until he was allowed to fast on his terms.

The authorities and Hazare aides say the Gandhian will shift Friday to the spacious Ramlila ground here to continue his hunger strike that began Tuesday after he was detained by police.

“There is no tiredness, I can still walk for five km on foot,” he told interviewer Kiran Bedi, a former police officer who is now his close aide. “Tonight I will be here (in jail), and tomorrow I will meet you all (outside).”

He said he was enthused by the widespread expression of support all over India in favour of an effective anti-corruption legislation as opposed to what he says is a weak Lokpal Bill presented by the government.

“I always said if the youth of the country will awake, the future will change… and I am seeing my dreams come true. When I see the tricolour on their shoulder, and hear the slogans, I am being energised,” he said.

“I will talk to everyone… My health is fine. Don’t worry about me.”

He said that though he has been given 15 days to fast, he will be seek an extension of seven days. “Nothing will happen to me 15 days. I will seek an extension of a week.”

He said the mass protests reported from scores of towns and cities were not about him.

“The people are on the streets not because of Anna. Corruption is so stifling… For everything one needs to bribe. This is why prices (of food and other commodities) are rising…

“People are unable to tolerate corruption… That is why they are on the streets.”

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