NEW DELHI: Anna Hazare on Sunday asked the UPA government to bring a strong anti-graft legislation by 2014 or be prepared for defeat in the next general elections.
Setting the 2014 deadline, Anna warned of disastrous consequences for the UPA if they fail to bring the anti-graft bill by 2014. He was addressing a huge gathering at Jantar Mantar where he held a hunger strike.
Sunday’s was the first hunger strike in the capital for a strong Lokpal Bill after Hazare had called off his three-day fast in Mumbai last December due to failing health and poor response. Significantly, his return to staging protests comes after the Congress performed poorly in the recent assembly polls.
Accusing the government of lacking political will to bring an effective legislation to curb corruption, he said peoples’ power will force the Centre to legislate a strong Lokpal Bill one day.
“This government neither has any intention nor does it have political will to bring a strong Lokpal Bill. We will not relent. We will have to keep struggling. I am confident that one day they will have to bring the Jan Lokpal Bill,” said Hazare.
The fast comes two days after an inconclusive all-party meeting on the Lokpal Bill. Asking his supporters to keep up the pressure on the government, Hazare said people have woken up and they will not allow corrupt politicians to “loot” resources any more. “We will have to bring real democracy... by ensuring rights of the common people who are supreme and send their representatives to Parliament and state legislatures,” he said. Anna also came down heavily on the government for its inaction on the Lokpal and corrupt ministers. “Govt’s intentions are not clear, that is why they are not serious about the Lokpal... We are not going to run after the govt — Jab naak dabayenge, muh automatic khul jayega. I have had six cabinet ministers dismissed. I have more ministers in the queue.”
Hazare also said he will extend full support to yoga guru Baba Ramdev in his fight to bring back black money from tax heavens. He attacked the government for resorting to lathi charge on Ramdev and his supporters in the Ramlila Maidan last year.