Anna Hazare began his indefinite fast today.

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anna-hazare-fasting in jantar mantarJuly 29, New Delhi: Anna Hazare began his hunger strike at Jantar Mantar, threatening a fast unto death, till his demands for a strong Lokpal bill are met. Earlier doctors and his team members appealed to him to refrain from a hunger strike because of his deteriorating health and old age. But the 75-year-old anti-graft crusader is all geared up to take on the government again.

Key Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal, among others, has been on a hunger strike against corruption for the past four days. However, the crowd has remained thin with many raising questions if the Anna movement is losing steam. Despite the moderate response, Mr Kejriwal has appealed to Anna not to join him in the fast.

“His health is not well. We lost Mahatma Gandhi at a wrong time. We lost Jaiprakash Narayan early and we cannot afford to lose Anna now. So I request Anna not to fast,” he said. “I will fast until we get Jan Lokpal,” said Hazare, whose four-day ultimatum to government on a decision on his demands ended on Saturday. Anna said he is not dissapointed by the decreased number of supporters and he will continue his protest even with the support of five people.

Hazare on Saturday took on Congress and BJP saying the country’s future does not lie safe in their hands but said he himself will not fight the elections though he would campaign for those with clean background selected by people. He also accused the government of cheating them repeatedly on the issue of Lokpal and that he is forced to fast again and again, which is “not a happy thing”.

Meanwhile, the differences within Team Anna seem to be deepening. While Anna says Pranab Mukherjee should not be attacked as he is the President now, Mr Kejriwal doesn’t agree. “The person sitting in that position cannot be looked at as Pranab Mukherjee. He’s the President. It is every citizen’s duty to respect the President,” Anna said. However, Mr Kejriwal says, “It’s being said that because Pranab Mukherjee is now the President of the nation, so his corruption shouldn’t be talked about. I disagree with that,”

Yesterday, setting the tone for his fast, 75-year-old Anna attacked the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), saying that the country’s future does not lie safe in their hands and talked about the need for a political alternative in the 2014 elections, during which he will campaign for those with clean background selected by people. However, he declared he will not contest the elections or form a party.

“For a vote, Rs. 15,000, Rs. 20,000, Rs. 30,000 are given (to voters). Those who get elected are making money and they don’t know where to keep this money. So they send it to foreign countries. Now its time to awaken the voters. “Some are saying that we should give alternative, we should form a party. Rs. 15-20 crore is spend by a candidate for Assembly elections and Rs. 50 crore for Lok Sabha polls. I will not fight elections. I will not put up a party,” he said.

However, Hazare said, he will tour the country urging people to select people to fight elections. He said the team will probe their background and then put their names of Internet seeking people’s opinion about them. “From them, we will put up some people for election. I will go for their campaigning and tell them that this is a good candidate and we need good people in Parliament…the country’s future is not safe with Congress and BJP,” Hazare said.

Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of Team Anna, publicly disagreed with Anna Hazare and yoga guru Ramdev on the issue of targeting Pranab Mukherjee after he became the President. While Ramdev had disapproved of attacks against Mukherjee after he was sworn-in as President on Wednesday, Hazare had congratulated Mukherjee and refrained from making any adverse remarks against him.

“Some people are saying that we should not talk about Pranab Mukherjee’s corruption after he became President. I don’t agree with that,” Kejriwal said, addressing people at Jantar Mantar.

Around 50 Team Anna supporters, including girls, on Saturday also staged a protest outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s 7-Race Course Road residence. Protesters were seen trying to climb the gates of the well-secured residence while police tried to prevent them from doing so. They also threw black chalks inside the premises. Anna supporters also wrote slogans against the Prime Minister on the roads as well as the wall of the residence.

News Gathered by India News

Posted by on Sunday, July 29th, 2012. Filed under India News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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