Anna Hazare writes to PM on Lokpal, to launch another fast
Posted on: 11:09 PM IST Sep 12, 2013
New Delhi: Accusing the government of "betraying" people on Lokpal Bill issue, activist Anna Hazare on Thursday said he would start another hunger strike before the Winter Session if immediate action is not taken for passage of the anti-corruption bill in Parliament.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Hazare demanded that he urge the President to convene a special session of Parliament to pass the Bill if his government wants to avoid the "blot" of turning back on its promises. He accused the UPA government of "betraying" the trust of 1.2 billion Indians and said he would begin fast in Ramlila Maidan before the Winter Session to demand its passage. "I broke my fast (in Dec, 2011) believing in your assurance that your government would pass the Bill before the then Winter Session. One Session after another has come and gone and now another Winter Session is before us. The Bill has not been passed yet" the anti-corruption crusader wrote in his letter.
"Had I been aware that your government would betray the country's 1.20 billion people, I would never have broken my fast," he told the PM. It is clear that the UPA does not intend to table the Bill in Parliament, he alleged. It got so many Bills, including Land Acquisition Bill, Food Security Bill and Pension Bill, passed but not Lokpal Bill," he said.
After being passed in the Lok Sabha in December, 2011 the Bill was referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha, which is yet to submit its report. "After being passed in the Lok Sabha, the Bill has been pending in Rajya Sabha for close to two years. The only conclusion I can draw is that the delay is deliberate on the part of your government," Hazare said.
He said he would go before people again and made an appeal that they should start an agitation similar to the one they did when he sat on fast on August 16, 2011. The subsequent popular agitation had forced the government to convene a special meet of Parliament which passed a resolution, agreeing with three of his crucial demands.
Some of Hazare's key aides, including Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan, have split from him to form a political party as the veteran activist was against their move.