Activists of the CPI, led by district secretary Muppalla Nageswara Rao, launched a 24–hour hunger strike near the MRO office here on Tuesday demanding that concrete measures be taken for eradicating corruption.

Mr. Nageswara Rao said leaders of some political parties plundered the national wealth in collusion with businessmen and stored their ill-gotten money in foreign banks. The ruling elite in Delhi did not have the courage to reveal the names of those who looted public money, he said.

The BJP, which was waxing eloquent about corruption, had a dubious record in Karnataka, where it was desperately trying to stay in power despite being indicted by the Lokayukta for its alleged involvement in the mining scandal.

Corruption posed a threat to democracy. Urgent action, including bringing Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal, should be taken to stem the rot.

Lok Satta district president O. Narayana Reddy said political corruption was hampering development and only mass movements such as the one led by Anna Hazare would curb the menace.

CPI secretary J. Ajay Kumar said Special Economic Zones were nothing but “corridors of corruption.” Vast tracts of arable land were being usurped by industrialists but nothing beneficial had so far fructified for the unemployed masses and the poor displaced people.

Social activists A. Sanjeeva Reddy and K. Sivarami Reddy, noted lawyer Narasimha Rao, and Progressive Forum president Hanumantha Reddy spoke.

Protest

The CPI city unit organised a massive protest against the corruption, near Sub Collector's office here on Tuesday.

Retired judge D.Satyanarayana Reddy formally inaugurated the dharna camp by presenting a red scarf to CPI city secretary K. Subba Raju and others.

On the occasion, Mr. Subba Raju said that the Lok Pal bill would become ornamental body unless Prime Minister was brought under its purview.

The CPI was organising the dharna taking spirit from Quit India movement, and christened it as Quit Corruption, he said.

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