Hazare threatens to fast in jail if venue not given

Ralegaon Siddhi (Maharashtra) : Anna Hazare Friday threatened to protest in jail if he was not given a venue for his fast from Dec 27 for a strong Lokpal bill.

Speaking to reporters in his native village, Hazare blamed the government for creating obstacles in his fast.

“I was to sit in Delhi from Aug 16, they did the same, they were not giving a place to sit. At last, we said we will go to jail and after that they gave place to sit on fast. The same will happen here if they don’t give place, we will sit in jail,” he said.

Hazare was to fast in Delhi, but the venue was shifted to Mumbai in the wake of the chilling winter in the national capital. The venue in Mumbai has not yet been finalised.

While permission was denied for Azad Maidan, a rent of Rs.3.5 lakh per day has been quoted for the MMRDA ground, another proposed venue.

Attacking the government’s version of Lokpal bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha Thursday, Hazare said the bill was “wrong”. “The Lokpal bill, the government draft is wrong. Why should the government alone make the draft?”

“…they (public) are the masters…they (politicians) should consult people before making any law.”

Even as the activist attacked the Congress, he was all praise for former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

“Rajiv Gandhi wrote a letter to 5.5 lakh village sarpanchs for 73rd and 74th amendment,” he said.

The 73rd and 74th Amendments of the Indian Constitution, passed in 1993, devolved significant amount of power to local governments or panchayats.

Hazare also attacked Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav and said he should remember the fodder scam. “People will tell him who has sown which seeds. Has he forgotten the ‘grass’ scandal.”

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