After a day-long fast at the Rajghat on Wednesday against the police action on the Baba Ramdev-led demonstration against corruption, rights activist Anna Hazare threatened another indefinite fast if the government failed to cooperate on the Lokpal Bill.
Mr. Hazare said that as a member of the Joint Drafting Committee (JDC) on the bill, he was steadfast in his resolve to have a Lokpal in place. If the government failed to cooperate, he would launch an indefinite hunger strike on August 16 at Jantar Mantar. He described his present agitation as the “second struggle for independence.”
The government was trying to belittle the civil society members on the Lokpal panel by levelling false allegations against them and setting out a few officers to unearth financial misdeeds.
Senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, who is the JDC co-chairperson, said this was just the first battle. He outlined the next phase — to usher in greater reforms in the electoral system and the judiciary.
Another JDC member, Arvind Kejriwal criticised the government for looking into their financial status. He demanded that the Congress and the BJP make public the donations they had received. He was particularly severe on Union Minister Kapil Sibal, wondering why the Minister was so upset at his calling the government names. “I was not wrong when I called them liars, cheats and conspirators. They released a fake CD, want to keep the Prime Minister out of the purview of the Lokpal and are taking the people for a ride by committing one scam after the other.”
The former IPS officer, Kiran Bedi, said the civil society members had not usurped the political space. They had just filled the void left by the political parties .