Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday said he was not afraid of death and dared the government to fire bullets in the event of his going on fast to press for a strong Lokpal Bill.
“Anna is not afraid of death. They can fire bullets and not just use lathis to repress our agitation and the people of this country will decide whether India has a democratic rule or a dictatorship,” Mr. Hazare told journalists in Pune. He was responding to a question on Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's reported remarks on his plans to go on fast from August 16.
Mr. Singh, however, denied saying that Mr. Hazare would be given a treatment similar to what was meted out to yoga guru Baba Ramdev if he went on a fast unto death from August 16. “I am surprised and pained at the reports in newspapers,” he told PTI.
Mr. Singh said that during his interaction with journalists in Jabalpur on Wednesday what he said was that the Congress had nothing to do with the manner in which either Mr. Hazare or Ramdev was treated. It was always decided by the local administration after assessing the situation at that moment.
Mr. Hazare, who was on his way to his native village Ralegaon in Ahmednagar district, also wondered whether the present Congress party was the same that had links with Mahatma Gandhi and leaders like Kamaraj.
“The Congress seems determined to crush our agitation for a strong Lokpal. But it should be remembered now that it is not just Anna Hazare but the entire country that is supporting this agitation and the people will teach them a lesson,” he said.