He will not be undertaking anti-Congress poll campaign as he has been advised rest
Amid talk of the Jan Lokpal movement being directionless, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare on Sunday said he would not be undertaking a tour to campaign against the Congress in the five poll-bound States because of his poor health.
Addressing reporters after being discharged from Pune's Sancheti Hospital, Mr. Hazare reiterated, however, that his fight against corruption would continue.
“I will not be going on the tour of the five States, as doctors have advised me against it,” he said.
The development could be a setback to the anti-corruption movement, even as the core committee of Team Anna is meeting in New Delhi over the weekend to chalk out the future strategy.
Asked about the future of the movement after Parliament failed to pass the Bill in the recently concluded winter session, Mr. Hazare said: “It is not a fight that lasts just a couple of months; it will go on for years. I have been fighting against corruption for 25 years. The struggle will continue once I get better.”
Mr. Hazare said, “I am feeling all right now but I am still feeling weak. The doctors have advised me rest for a month.” He was admitted to the hospital on December 31 and was treated for chest congestion and weakness. He left for his village Ralegan Siddhi in Ahmednagar district immediately after being discharged.
He had earlier promised that he would campaign against the Congress in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur if the party failed to bring in a strong Lokpal Bill. The States are facing Assembly polls from January 28 to March 3. After abruptly ending a scheduled three-day fast in two days in Mumbai last month, and cancelling his plan to stage a dharna and jail bharo andolan in front of Congress leader Sonia Gandhi's house, this is the third agitation for a strong Lokpal Bill that stands cancelled.
Asked if he would consider changing his team after charges of corruption were levelled against several members, he refused to comment and said: “I was not in touch with the outside world for 10 days.”
Meanwhile, Parag Sancheti, who has been treating Mr. Hazare reiterated on Sunday that the activist should not undertake any more fasts. “He is 74 and his body is undergoing metabolic changes. If he fasts any more, there is a chance that the proteins in the body would be depleted. This could cause irreversible damage to his health. So I have strictly advised him not to go on fasts anymore,” the doctor told The Hindu.
Asked if the activist would heed the advice, Dr. Sancheti said: “Anna ji is adamant as we all know. We will have to see what he decides.”
Mr. Hazare would be given antibiotics and Vitamin D, and be under observation for the next one month, he said.