Please end fast, Thackeray appeals to Hazare (Lead)

August 24th, 2011 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 24 (IANS) Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray Wednesday made a personal appeal to veteran anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare to end his nine-day hunger strike in view of his frail health.

In a personal, signed, two-page letter to Hazare, Thackeray said the entire country had rallied behind him as he adopted the path of a hunger strike for a strong Lokpal Bill.

“However, I am concerned by the reports of your health condition. Though you have vowed to sacrifice your life for this noble cause, this war should not be at the cost of your life,” Thackeray said.

Moreover, in such an eventuality, the very people he was fighting could benefit, added Thackeray.

“In view of your deteriorating health, now end your fast. Even after that, the agitation can continue. After you end your hunger strike, let your associates Kejriwal, Bedi, Sisodia and others can sit on hunger strike and the crusade will go on,” Thackeray exhorted.

Interestingly, on Tuesday, Thackeray had in an editorial in the party mouthpiece Dopahar Ka Saamna trained his guns on Team Hazare members like Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejriwal for “their antics” before the media spotlight.

While Anna was fasting, Bedi and Kejriwal were feasting and making absurd statements like “Anna is India, India is Anna”, inspired by a similar statement “Indira is India, India is Indira (Gandhi)” in the late 1970s made by Congress sycophants led by the then party president D.K. Baruah, he pointed out.

He warned that just as Indira Gandhi had to forfeit her government, Hazare’s anti-corruption would meet a similar fate if the “shining brigade” of Bedi and others were not reined in.

In his letter handed over to Hazare today by party MP Sanjay Raut, Thackeray said the people of the country were sick of the corruption all round.

“You will recall that when you had visited my home Oct 6, 1996, we had discussed the issue of corruption. At the time, I had committed to weeding out corruption from everywhere,” Thackeray said.

Later, at a joint press conference, Hazare had said: “Bal Thackeray is the only ray of hope in this war against corruption. Nobody else has the courage. We shall work together and victory is guaranteed.”

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