Social activist to join fast on Sunday as Kejriwal’s condition worsens

As Team Anna’s indefinite fast against corruption entered the third day on Friday and yoga guru Baba Ramdev joined the agitation at Jantar Mantar here, social activist Anna Hazare declared that the battle against corruption was going to be a “long one.” He will join the fast on Sunday.

Bureaucrats, he said, could take the country in a new direction and bring about a decisive change in the system but they were bound by the establishment. Even though the political class could not punish the officers of the Indian Administrative Service and the Indian Police Service, they have been vested with power to transfer them.

“The fear of transfer itself is a deterrent and binds the officials against taking any action against those who misuse their authority,” he said.

Baba Ramdev emphasised the need for making the recruitment/selection procedure of the Central Bureau of Investigation officers, the Central Vigilance Commissioner, the Chief Election Commissioner and the Comptroller and Auditor General of India free from the control of the government.

He said when they spoke about bringing changes in system, they also mean that the people in power should get out of their official residences and reside where the common man stays.

“The country should be where the king stays in a hut and people live in palaces. Why does the President reside in a place which has 350 rooms? Why do Governors, Ministers and MPs stay in bungalows? Why can't they stay in flats like Congressmen in United States do?”

The yoga guru said team Anna’s movement had his full backing and there were no differences. However, as in the past he opposed naming President Pranab Mukherjee among those who should be probed.

Team Anna is demanding the setting up of an independent Special Investigation Team to probe documented corruption charges against Ministers in the Union Cabinet.

While the Congress accused them of turning dharnas into a “joke,” Janata Dal (United) President Sharad Yadav, who earlier shared the dais with Mr. Hazare, asked Team Anna not to “denigrate” institutions.

Meanwhile, the condition of Arvind Kejriwal, a key Team Anna member who is diabetic, worsened on Friday. He stayed away from the stage.

Amongst those who addressed the gathering were Narmada Bachao Andolan leader and member of the core committee Medha Patkar.

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