Government has cheated us: Anna Hazare

August 13th, 2011 - 7:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh New Delhi, Aug 13 (IANS) Social activist Anna Hazare Saturday accused the government of betraying the nation’s trust, and said if he had known the government would cheat he wouldn’t have called off his fast in April.

Addressing a press conference ahead of his fast from Aug 16, Hazare said because of the government’s misgovernance, the US got the opportunity to pass remarks on the country’s internal matters.

Hazare said had he known the government would “cheat” them, he would not have called off his fast in April when he went without food for almost five days - a move that forced the government to agree on a strong Lokpal bill against corruption.

“We did not know that we will be cheated. If we had known then, we would have told the government to agree to all our demands or the fast will not be broken. But we trusted the government and it cheated us,” Hazare said at a press conference.

The activist expressed his anger against the restrictions put up by Delhi Police for his hunger strike - allowing him to hold it for just three days at a park in central Delhi.

“We have been telling the government about the Aug 16 fast since April…about a month and half back we told them again about the fast and asked them for a protest site and gave them options. I have written so many letters to the prime minister,” Hazare said.

Refusing to agree with Delhi Police which has asked him to sign an undertaking that the fast will end in three days, he said: “We don’t agree with the restrictions of the police. The fast will happen.”

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Saturday, Hazare commented on the furore created over a US State Department official’s call for “restraint” in dealing with the fast.

He said: “It’s regretful that because of your misgovernance, US got the opportunity to interfere and pass remarks on the country’s internal matters.”

“We hope that the prime minister will respond to my letter,” he told media persons.

The social activists want the government to include in the official draft legislation the provisions of their Jan Lokpal bill, that put the prime minister and higher judiciary within the ambit of an ombudsman. The government version of the bill, introduced in parliament, does not include these provisions.

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