Reacting to Parliament’s appeal to end his fast, Anna Hazare on Thursday demanded that Parliament discuss three key issues on Jan Lokpal from Friday and create an agreement, failing which he will not end his fast.
“I have sent a message to the Prime Minister. If you want to pass Jan Lokpal bill then start the discussion tomorrow morning. I have three demands. If there is support (for them), then I can consider ending the fast,” he told his supporters at the Ramlila Maidan here.
He was reacting to the appeal from Parliament that he end his fast after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made an offer to the civil society that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be discussed by Parliament.
Mr. Hazare's three demands to the Prime Minister includes, citizen’s charter, Lokayuktas in all States with Lokpal powers and inclusion of lowest to highest bureaucracy under the ambit of the Bill.
"If there is agreement on all these three issues then I can consider ending my fast but not protest," he said.
Mr. Hazare said he has sent this message through Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh when he came to meet him at the fast site and appealed to him to end his hunger strike.
“You (PM) say, you are worried. Now he is saying that we are worried but for ten days you were not worried. It went on like this,” he said, adding the government had betrayed him twice in the past and now he would not like to be betrayed for the third time.
While taking note of the appreciation by the Prime Minister, Speaker and Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Hazare wondered why the Opposition is keeping mum on the Jan Lokpal bill.
“Why are you keeping quiet? You should say that we will support this bill and ask the government to bring it. But now everyone has joined hands because they fear that power will slip out of their hands,” the 74—year—old Gandhian said, referring the Opposition.
Earlier activist Manish Sisodia, a journalist, informed the supporters, “Anna has written a letter to the Prime Minister and a response is awaited. Once Anna gets the reply, he will brief you.”
Following Dr. Singh’s speech, Lok Sabha on Thursday unanimously appealed to Mr. Hazare to end his hunger strike as his life was “much too precious”.
The Prime Minister had on August 23 reached out to him with an appeal for ending fast and a promise that his Jan Lokpal Bill could be considered by Parliament along with the government draft.
Core committee meets
Earlier, the core committee of Team Anna Hazare discussed Dr. Singh’s fresh offer that the Jan Lokpal Bill will be considered by Parliament and his request to the Gandhian to end his hunger strike.
The meeting at the Ramlila Maidan on Thursday afternoon was attended by Mr. Hazare, Shanti Bhushan, Kiran Bedi, Medha Patkar and others.
Hailing the Gandhian as “an embodiment of the disgust and concern of the people over corruption” and expressing his respect for him, Dr. Singh said, the government will find effective ways and means to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill, along with the government version of the Bill, Aruna Roy’s Bill and the paper presented by Jaiprakash Narayan of the Lok Satta.
The meeting assumes significance against the backdrop of mounting pressure on Team Anna to persuade the Gandhian to end his fast which has entered its tenth day.