New Delhi: The crowds at Jantar Mantar, the venue of the indefinite fast by Anna Hazare and his team, continued to remain impressive on the second day of fast by the anti-corruption crusader on Monday. This after more than 6000 people came to support Anna during the weekend.
While the protests by Anna and his team were on, members of India Against Corruption on Monday took to the streets, this time targeting Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar. They protested in large numbers outside the residence of Pawar in the national capital.
The police had to be called in to remove the agitators. The IAC members had protested outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's residence on Sunday.
However, Team Anna denied indulging in any protest outside Pawar's residence. "India Against Corruption (IAC) is not associated with the protest. We have not organised it," IAC media coordinator Ashwathi Muralidharan said.
Earlier, as the day began, the crowd at the fast venue was just around 400. The organisers of the event blamed the low turnout on rains and disruption in Metro services due to the collapse of the Northern Power Grid. The crowd, however, swelled as the day progressed.
Team Anna came with a bizarre statement during the day by appearing to see a conspiracy in the collapse of the northern power grid, alleging that new developments are happening as Anna is sitting on an indefinite fast.
Later on Monday, Anna Hazare, addressing the crowd, warned the government that it would have to go if it did not bring a strong Lokpal Bill as a "wave of protest" was building up.
"The way this wave of protest against corruption is building in the country, I am getting this feeling that the government would have to bring a strong Lokpal Bill or else it will have to go," he said.
Reacting to the attack, the Congress hit out at Team Anna over the protest outside the residence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Congress leader Ambika Soni said that the way some people protested outside the Prime Minister's residence on Sunday showed Team Anna's desperation. "It sullies the image of India," she said.
Government sources meanwhile suggested that the Central government would not negotiate with Team Anna this time. "There is nothing to negotiate on. The matter is with the Select Committee. The government feels that there is no end to demands of Team Anna," government sources said.
Another highlight of the day was Team Anna members downplaying reports of Baba Ramdev sharing the stage with Narendra Modi at a Jain community function in Gujarat.
Team Anna member Kumar Vishwas said, "Anna and Baba Ramdev are together on corruption. Modi is the Chief Minister of a state. He is free to meet who he likes. Swami Ramdev has the right to meet who he wants."
Another team member Kiran Bedi said that she had spoken to Anna, and he said who Ramdev meets is his own matter. "Let's wait for Anna address. He is likely to answer this question," said Bedi.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)
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