People from all walks of life in Coimbatore held a candlelight vigil in front of CODISSIA Trade Fair Complex on Saturday to express solidarity with Anna Hazare in the fight against corruption.

Organised by the “Coimbatore against Corruption” movement, the first public meeting saw over 10,000 people gather to extend their support to the anti-corruption crusader.

Carrying National Flags and holding placards with anti-corruption messages, the participants raised slogans against corruption.

School and college students, workers, businessmen and senior citizens wore blue bands, which, they said, symbolised transparency, which was much needed in today's administration.

Carnatic singer T.M. Krishna rendered patriotic songs, which kept people spell bound for over half-an-hour.

In his key note address, Rajaram, a professor from Madurai, said that people often thought corruption did not affect them and that it happened elsewhere. They were wrong. Corruption affected every citizen and it had to be wiped away from society.

Removing corrupt politicians was the duty of every citizen and they should take it up voluntarily without being asked to do so.

Akila, a class three student, said that with the money the country lost in scams, it could have 1,500 Oxford Universities and 2,000 multi-speciality hospitals, providing free healthcare to people.

She said that things could change in the country if people joined hands and fought against corruption.

Strong Lokpal Bill

Many youngsters and senior citizens, who spoke, called for a strong Lokpal Bill, highlighted the economic benefits of not having scams. They said that corruption threatened India's growth as an economic power. They labelled the fight against corruption as the “New Freedom Struggle Movement”.

They also spoke in detail about the merits and demerits of the government's Lokpal Bill.

Dressed as Anna Hazare, many participants distributed flags and blue bands to people and explained about the Lokpal Bill.

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