A public opinion poll in the Capital has indicated an overwhelming support for social activist Anna Hazare, with 68 per cent of the respondents saying that his efforts would help in introduction of a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament.

The survey, conducted by the Delhi-based Shyam Vyas MARC, covered responses from 616 people, mostly college students, in different parts of the city to gauge public expectations, views and perceptions regarding Anna Hazare's movement and government action.

A question whether Anna will finally be able to make a dent and reduce corruption, evoked a mixed response. While 44 per cent of the respondents supported him, 48 per cent were uncertain about the outcome.

However, the respondents agreed unanimously that Anna was receiving massive public support because the common man was fed up with corruption at all levels.

According to the poll, 96 per cent respondents felt that the powerful can get away with anything and the government was breeding a culture of non-accountability, 88 per cent said the government was apathetic to public grievances and 84 per cent expressed frustration over unfulfilled promises by politicians.

In all, 84 per cent respondents said they believed that Anna was getting support because he was perceived as a good human being. A whopping 92 per cent was of the opinion that the Prime Minister should have intervened to prevent Anna's arrest and his being sent to Tihar Central Jail.

“The decision to arrest Anna, according to 88 per cent respondents, was made by senior Ministers, while 12 per cent believed it was the Prime Minister himself who gave the go-ahead. Only 4 per cent believed that Delhi Police took the decision on their own.”

All the respondents questioned the sincerity of the senior Union Ministers who had negotiated with Team Anna, while 92 per cent believed that the international media attention over the entire sequence of events had adversely dented the country's image.

All the respondents knew Anna Hazare and about his initiative to bring a strong Lokpal Bill. They were aware of him having undertaken a fast and having been arrested and put in Tihar Jail.

“A whopping 96 per cent of the respondents stated that they approved of Anna Hazare's initiative. The rest were either uncertain or disapproved of it,” said the survey report.

On the handling of the situation by the Prime Minister and his Ministers, 84 per cent disapproved of it, whereas 16 per cent were uncertain.

“In all, 84 per cent respondents believed that Anna has managed to galvanise public opinion on corruption as never before in recent times. Sixteen per cent were uncertain, while no one was in disagreement.”

A huge 92 per cent of the respondents believed that Anna and his efforts have shown the Central Government in poor light and on the side of the corrupt. Only 8 per cent were uncertain. Eighty per cent believed that the damage to the ruling party and coalition was huge and even the Prime Minister's image had taken a hit.

In all, 88 per cent of respondents were of the opinion that Anna's efforts have given hope to the common man that corruption can be removed.

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