Anna Hazare warns govt on the Lokpal Bill issue

Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare gestures as he begins his hunger strike in New Delhi

NEW DELHI: As his fast entered the second day, Anna Hazare today warned the government that it will have to go if it does not bring a strong Lokpal Bill as a “wave of protest” is building up.

After an impressive turnout yesterday, the morning crowd at the fast venue of Jantar Mantar here was just around 400 with organizers blaming the low turn out on rains and disruption in Metro services due to collapse of the Northern Power Grid. They said they expect the crowd to swell as the day progressed.

74-year-old Hazare took the dais at 11 AM and said, “The way this wave of protest against corruption is building in the country, I am getting this feeling that the government would have to bring a strong Lokpal Bill or else it will have to go.”

His close aide Arvind Kejriwal, who is into his sixth day of fasting, tweeted, “This time its do or die. Dedicate this week for the country. Take off from your work and college. Take to streets. Just one week.

“Pray for a corruption free India. I am very, very confident that time for India has arrived. Future belongs to India. And it will happen soon,” he added.

Another Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said the next few days will decide the future of the country. “It either embarks on a journey of equitable prosperity or remains a crony oligarchy!” she tweeted.

Meanwhile, Team Anna got support from filmmaker Shekhar Kapur who tweeted, “India does not need change of government but change in political system. 65 years of current system has created huge divide between people and governance.

“I will come to Jantar Mantar as ordinary Indian to be part of the heart beat of India, whose future lies beyond individual celebrity status,” he said.

Hazare had yesterday joined the fast. His team had attacked Ramdev for sharing dais with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, creating uneasiness in the group over association with the yoga guru.-PTI