Jubiliation in Maharashtra over Anna’s victory (Lead)

August 27th, 2011 - 11:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Anna Hazare Mumbai, Aug 27 (IANS) Thousands of people in Maharashtra, including here and Anna Hazare’s home village Ralegan-Siddhi, broke out in celebrations Saturday after the activist said he will call off his fast as the government had agreed to his three key demands.

Villagers ran out of their homes as soon as the news broke out.

“Anna is a national hero, he has achieved what many felt was impossible by a hunger strike and a peaceful agitation,” an admiring villager said in front of television cameras.

Many people, including women and youths, danced in groups, while the men folk cheered and raised slogans in favour of Hazare.

Similar celebrations were seen in Pune, Nagpur, Kolhapur, Thane and other parts of the state.

Braving heavy rains, Mumbaikars managed to gather in small groups in temples or public places and flashed the victory sign as Hazare compelled the government to take the first concrete steps for a strong Lokpal bill.

“Anna has achieved what the people of the country wanted and he continues to remain safe and healthy,” Andheri businessman Rajeev Jain told IANS.

Pooja Pujari, an executive with the five-star Hotel Trident Oberoi, said she was “thrilled by the victory of the people”.

“Many of us had taken out a candle light march supporting Anna’s cause last week. We are happy our individual efforts have succeeded in achieving Anna’s objectives for a strong Lokpal bill,” Pooja told IANS.

Praful Vora, the Mumbai coordinator of India Against Corruption, said: “Real parliament is the people, says Annaji. People are supreme and parliament is only an institution to serve them. This has been established again today.”

Kiran Gavande, the secretary of Nutan Dabbawala Trust said that he is glad their efforts bore fruit. “We are glad that we supported Annaji by taking a break from providing tiffins for a day, a first in the last 120 years,” he said.

“But we are now planning to celebrate by serving our customers with free sweets Monday,” he added

Union Minister and former Maharashtra chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh conveyed the “sense of the house”, including in-principle agreement on the three key demands of Anna Hazare on the Lokpal bill, to the activist at Ramlila grounds in New Delhi late Saturday.

Reading out a letter signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Deshmukh said: “This House agrees, in principle, on the following issues for a strong and effective Lokpal - citizens’ charter, lower bureaucracy to be under Lokpal through an appropriate mechanism, (and) establishment of Lokayuktas in the states.”

Soon after, the activist announced that he will break his fast at 10 a.m. Sunday. Saturday was the 12th day of Anna Hazare’s fast.

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