Hazare begins fast on Ramlila grounds

Asks government to pass amended Lokpal Bill in this session

Updated - November 17, 2021 10:53 am IST

Published - August 19, 2011 08:20 pm IST - New Delhi

Social activist Anna Hazare at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Friday. Mr. Hazare made a surprise announcement that he would not leave the fast venue till the bill is passed. Photo: V. Sudershan

Social activist Anna Hazare at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi on Friday. Mr. Hazare made a surprise announcement that he would not leave the fast venue till the bill is passed. Photo: V. Sudershan

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Friday continued his agitation on the Ramlila grounds, demanding a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. Officially, he has permission to undertake a fast at the venue for two weeks. This, Team Anna said, could be extended by another two weeks.

He reached the Ramlila grounds from the Tihar jail to a tumultuous welcome.

Upping the ante, Mr. Hazare demanded that an amended Lokpal Bill, that incorporated the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill, should be passed in the current session of Parliament itself. “The government knows how to do it. It has majority in Parliament and in the Standing Committee. It should do it in this very session,'' he said at a press conference.

Calling upon youth to set an example to the world by leading a non-violent and peaceful “revolution,” he said the “second struggle for freedom'' had begun.

Unprecedented crowds braved monsoon rain to greet Mr. Hazare when he emerged from the Tihar jail.

Arvind Kejriwal, a core member of Team Anna, said: “The government is using Parliament and the Standing Committee as a shield for the weak Bill it has brought and needs to be exposed.''

Lawyer and Mr. Hazare's associate Prashant Bhushan said if the government had any doubts about what the people wanted, it should go in for a referendum on the civil society's Jan Lokpal Bill versus the “sarkari” Lokpal Bill.

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