Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare began an indefinite fast at Ralegan Siddhi village to push for the Jan Lokpal bill, warning the Congress of grave consequences in the 2014 polls if it failed to do so.
“I have been informed that the minister of state for parliamentary affairs V Narayanasamy has said that the government will try to pass the bill during the current session of Parliament. But I will not withdraw my fast because of the government’s assurance,” he told reporters.
“Earlier too, they had given similar assurances and then betrayed the people by keeping the bill pending. My fast will continue till the government approves the bill,” said Hazare, who started the fast at 11 am.
“After the Ramlila Maidan agitation, PM Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi wrote to me saying that they will approve the bill. I believed them and withdrew the agitation. Since then, the prime minister’s office has written 15-16 letters giving assurances. But no action has been taken. This is betrayal. People have decimated Congress in the four state assembly elections. If they don’t approve the Jan Lokpal bill, people will teach them another lesson,” he said.
“You have the time to approve the bill which permitted criminals to contest election from jail, but you don’t have time to approve the Jan Lokpal bill. I want to remind the government that this is the right time to approve it as this government will not get another chance to do so,” he added. He said the Congress and the BJP were hand-in-glove and want to share power between them.