Indefinite fast the only option : Anna Hazare

July 29th, 2011 - 9:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Civil rights activist Anna Hazare Friday said an indefinite hunger strike was the only Gandhian option left before him to achieve his goal for enactment of a strong Lokpal bill.

“Indefinite fast wields tremendous power. There are other methods like morcha (processions) and rallies, but fasting is the most influential weapon,” he told India TV channel.

Hazare, who spearheaded a national movement in April for a strong Lokpal bill, said he has fasted eight times and it has led to strong laws.

“If I sit on fast for at least seven to eight days, the entire country will stand up. This is called satyagraha, as Gandhiji said ‘atma-klesh’ (self-penance) will give relief to the masses,” said Hazare.

He also lambasted the Manmohan Singh government for clearing a “weak” draft bill. In view of this, he has threatened to go on hunger strike again from Aug 16.

“The government does not want a strong Lokpal law. It wants a loose law. The Lokpal bill was brought in parliament eight times in the last 42 years, but was never passed,” he added.

After his fast, the government set up a 10-member committee, comprising five ministers to draft the bill. But after months of acrimony, the committee, decided to come out with two versions of the Lokpal. But, the government finally chose their own version, keeping the prime minister, higher judiciary and act of parliamentarians inside the parliament house out of the Lokpal’s ambit. Although, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wanted to be part of it.

“The government has committed fraud by not fulfilling its promise to place both drafts of the Lokpal bill before the cabinet. It also committed fraud by not placing eight-nine points raised in the committee meeting before the cabinet as was promised,” he added.

“The government is afraid because its intention is dishonest. The government thinks that it will lose power if a strong Lokpal is appointed. The government does not want a strong Lokpal,” Hazare said.

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