Hazare to begin nationwide tour Sunday

Mumbai, March 30 (IANS) Anna Hazare will embark on a year-long, all-India tour from Sunday to campaign for a stronger Lokpal bill, electoral reforms and other issues he has been raising for the past few years, an aide said here.

The first phase of the nationwide tour, planned since a year, will kick off from Amritsar in Punjab, and then to Haryana and Uttaranchal. In these three states, the 75-year old Hazare is scheduled to address meetings in at least three dozen cities and towns, culminating in Haridwar on April 17.

The new movement comes exactly two years after Hazare had gone on a hunger strike against corruption in New Delhi April 2011, followed by a similar agitation in August that year and culminating with a hunger strike in Mumbai in December.

After completing the three states and a short break, he will then go on to the second leg of his tour, covering Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand, the dates of which are being finalized.

During the tour, Hazare will also work for forming a nationwide organisation of individuals, social groups and NGOs fighting corruption at the grassroots level.

The tour, which was expected to start January, was postponed on account of his frail health, an eye surgery and other prior commitments.

The plans for the tour were finalized at a meeting of experts and advisors he had convened last October in his native village, Ralegan-Siddhi in Ahmadnagar district.

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