Aanna Hazare made three important pronouncements during his recent day long fast at Jantar Mantar: one, he warned the UPA government of a ‘jail bharo’ agitation by his team if FIRs were not filed against all tainted ministers by August this year; two, he made a formal announcement of integrating Team Anna with yoga guru Baba Ramdev; and three, he set the 2014 deadline for the government to bring a strong Lokpal Bill as per Team Anna’s demands.
Government sources said Hazare’s ‘jail bharo’ threat would have to be assessed and analysed before commenting on it. They said while Hazare’s announcement regarding Ramdev could be a cause for concern for the government, his 2014 deadline on the Lokpal issue is actually a climb-down for Team Anna that should give relief to the government. Meanwhile, a defiant Congress made light of Hazare’s fast as its spokesman Rashid Alvi said: “Fasting by Anna Hazare does not make a difference. Parliament is supreme.”
The main reason for Hazare’s day long fast was to demand justice for the slain IPS officer Narendra Kumar from Madhya Pradesh and protection of whistle blowers. “Twenty-five people who fought against corruption were murdered. We have been stressing on protection of whistleblowers through a law but the government is not ready to do it,” he said.
Hazare also said the ‘Right to Reject’ should be given to the voters and remarked that if people supported him, very soon he would force the government to bring the Jan Lokpal Bill. “We were requesting the government to bring ‘Right to Reject’. We will now not go after the government. We now have to use pressure tactics to get the government to respond,” he said.
The 74-year-old social activist also gave his piece of mind about the sensitive issue of land acquisition when he said: “We want a new law to be brought where before any land acquisition has to be done, permission of Gram Sabha has to be taken to give farmers their rights.”
• We don't have to sleep now, we have slept enough. Now, we will only rest once the country sees the change we wish to bring.
• We haven't got freedom in the right sense, the British left our country and others took over.
• Team Anna and Baba Ramdev will now work together. Our fight is to clean up the system.
• By August if FIRs are not filed against tainted ministers then be ready for Jail Bharo Andolan.
• Laluji was concerned about my health. I have to tell him that I am fit to tour the entire nation.
• People haven't realised the strength of a 'Brahamachari's' fast and struggle.
• We have to change this country, and if not now, then never. This is our only chance to change the country.