Monday, August 22, 2011

Anna's fast enters 7th day: We don't want to bring down govt, says Kejriwal

New Delhi: Anna Hazare's fast demanding a strong Lokpal entered the seventh day here on Monday with his Team asserting that they have no intention to topple the government but defended the Gandhian's remarks that it should go if the bill is not passed by August 30.
Hazare's fast inched close to 150 hours as hundreds poured into Ramlila Maidan to express solidarity with the 73- year-old Gandhian who began his indefinite fast in police custody on August 16. He has lost five kgs during the past seven days and ketone particles have been found in his blood and urine. Ketone particles may affect vital organs like kidney and liver.
As his protest continued, Team Anna said they were yet to hear from the government side on the talks.
"The Prime Minister tells you people (media) that they are ready for talks. But we are asking again and again where do we come? Whom do we meet? Until we don't have a concrete proposal, we cannot react to it," activist Arvind Kejriwal said.
Asked about Hazare's statement that the government should go if it does not pass the bill by August 30, Kejriwal said Team Anna has no intention to topple the government.
"We have been repeating that our motive is not to topple the government. If the government is so insensitive even on the seventh day of protest and mass gathering, they are saying we will protect corruption and shelter the what is wrong if Hazare said this," he said.
Noting they have not changed their stand and they cannot leave the government free to do help corrupt people, he put the ball in government's court on negotiations saying now the way ahead has to be decided by the government. "If they have the political will, it will take less than two minutes to pass the bill," he said.
On Hazare's health, Kejriwal said the Gandhian has lost five kgs in the past seven days. "The ketone level in blood and urine has risen slightly. There is nothing to worry as of now. He is fine," he said.
Government has initiated move for back-channel negotiations by roping in Additional Chief Secretary of Maharashtra Umesh Chandra Sarangi and spiritual guru Bhaiyyuji Maharaj. Both had a meeting with Hazare and his team yesterday.
Meanwhile, police enhanced the security at Ramlila Maidan this morning by deploying additional personnel, including a woman unit of the CRPF.
A senior police official looking after security arrangements said CRPF and Delhi Police personnel have been asked to keep a tight vigil and ask for identity cards in case of suspicion.
However, the official did not give an exact figure of security personnel deployed. Two platoons (25 personnel in each) were seen on the ground after being briefed by their seniors.
However, the CRPF personnel deployed at the ground are not armed even with 'lathis' leave alone weapons.
The police is also frisking all protestors and visitors who have entered the ground from various entry gates.
Anna Hazare on Sunday vowed to continue his protest to maintain pressure on the government till Parliament passes the civil society's version of an anti-graft bill.
Addressing thousands of his supporters on Sunday, Hazare alleged that the government's intentions in creating an independent and powerful anti-graft watchdog were "not good".
"The government does not have good intentions. Their intentions to curb corruption are bad. The government deceived us," the 74-year-old activist said.
He asked his supporters to be ready for a bigger revolution if the government failed to pass the version of the Lokpal bill he and his aides want. Read: It's time for a revolution, says Anna Hazare
"I request all you that if the government doesn't pass the bill, there will be a movement in the country never seen before," he thundered.
He said the government had "betrayed" him and his team members over the bill they wanted the government to pass to curb rampant corruption.
"If you cannot get the bill, I ask you to leave the chair," he said, amid a huge applause. Read: What makes Anna Hazare foolproof against his long fast? 
On day six of Anna’s fast support for the Jan Lokpal Bill and Annahas ballooned to enormous proportions.  Support from across the country is unprecedented. The citizens of India poured into streets, parks and grounds demanding an effective anti corruption law – the Jan Lokpal Bill.
The sun shone bright but the heat did not deter supporters from flocking to Ramlila Ground in Delhi to stand by Anna. Number today crossed one and a half lakh by afternoon and by evening people was marching all around the maidan, India Gate and surrounding areas. The total count of Indian marching in support of Anna around Ramlila Maidaan and those in the maidan touched two lakh by sundown. Read: Govt invites public opinion on Lokpal, Team Anna rejects move
A rally took place expressing support and solidarity for the Jan Lokpal Bill from India gate to Ramlila grounds. Over a lakh participated in the rally. The spirit was upbeat.
Sri Sri Ravi Shanker of the Art of living came to extend support to the movement and inquire after Anna’s health. Sri Sri spoke about the importance of a social movement like the one we are seeing and the rise of consciousness and Anna’s contribution to it.
Rishi Prabhakar a prominent spiritual leader from Bangalore and founder of the SSY - Siddh Samaj Yoga also came to Ramlila ground and extended his support to the anti graft movement. Speaking to the citizens of India gathered there he said that we are fortunate to have someone like Anna amongst us. He spoke about the importance of fighting graft and put his weight behind the Jan Lokpal movement. Read: Govt in favour of strong, effective Lokpal Bill, says PM
Team Anna gave a call to sit on peaceful protest outside the houses of MPs and ministers and sing, urge and appeal to them to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. Team Anna also appealed to the citizens of India to convey to their MPs that they will not vote for them next election if they don’t pass the Jan Lokpal Bill. Let the elected representatives do what their constituents want.
Eighty people protesting outside the Prime Ministers house at race course were detained and later released.
Arvind Kejriwal clarified speculation about a compromise formula being worked out. He made clear to all gathered there that there is no such effort happening behind the scenes. Umesh Sarangi the Asst. Secretary home of Maharashtra State had come to meet team Anna. He carried a note which was a 13 point summary of the Govt. Lokpal Bill. A copy of the summary is attached.
Anti Corruption Crusader Call for Action from Anna’s Platform
Justice Santosh Hegde came to Delhi to lend his support to Anna. Even though he has been actively supporting the anti graft movement and the introduction of a Jan Lokpal bill from Bangalore he decided to come to Delhi to make a point. He addressed the people gathered there and explained why this struggle to fight corruption is so important. Justice Hegde spoke at length about corruption and ways to tackle it.  He said that the intention of the govt has been dishonest right from the outset.

The need of an anti corruption law he said was so urgent that it can not be delayed any more. Corruption is responsible for land grabbing and resources being grabbed the country over. The common man has to deal with it at so many levels that a tough anti corruption law being delayed is a grave injustice.
Darul-uloom issued a statement extending support to Anna Hazare and the movement for an introduction of the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Arjuna Awardee Sportspersons came and lent support. They were accompanied by their coaches.
Anna’s “I am Anna” topi became a fashion statement in fashion shows in Mumbai. From Viday Balan to Sridevi, models and audiences were seen sporting the latest fashion statement - honesty and the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Members of innumerable groups from Kisan Unions, religious groups to market associations came from all parts of the country and lent their voice to the demand for a Jan Lokpal Bill.
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)

Do you think the govt can afford to ignore Anna’s fast for a stronger Lokpal? Share your views with us in the comment box given below...

No comments:

Post a Comment