Reiterating his resolve to go on a hunger strike from August 16 to press the demand for the Jan Lokpal Bill, veteran social activist Anna Hazare said here on Tuesday that he was prepared to begin his protest in jail if the police did not permit him to hold it anywhere in the capital.
“Delhi me permission nahi mil rahi hai to jail me to milege? [If I don't get the permission in Delhi, at least I will get it in jail?] Will begin my fast there if need be. We will sit wherever we find a place. For one week we have been asking for a place. A letter has been sent to the [Delhi] Police Commissioner. But the government has been avoiding it. They are betraying the people of the country,” Mr. Hazare told journalists.
A delegation of Jan Lokpal activists, namely Mr. Hazare, activist Arvind Kejriwal and senior advocate Shanti Bhushan, would be making a presentation on their demand before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Wednesday.
Mr. Hazare said the team would not believe in any verbal assurances given by the government anymore. “Once bitten, twice shy. This time we won't give in to verbal assurance. We will ask for written affidavits about what changes the government intends to make.”
He blamed the government for doing a U-turn on the purview of the Lokpal. “We gave 71 points. They agreed to some and reserved around 10 points for further discussion. Then they went back on their assurances. As a result there were two drafts of the Bill. They presented only one draft before the Cabinet. P Chidambaram later claimed to have fulfilled the promise. You call this fulfilling promises? They have brought in a useless Bill,” Mr. Hazare said.
The Jan Lokpal activists appealed to citizens to show solidarity with the movement by switching off lights between 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Independence Day. They have also urged people to participate in the movement from August 16 and take leave from work for a week.