Social activist and a vociferous propagator of the anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokpal, Anna Hazare, said on Tuesday that he will launch a hunger strike from Wednesday, January 30.
“Kal main savere 10 baje, mere gaon Ralegan Siddhi mein annshan par baeth raha hun. Ye mera annshan kisi vyakti, paksh, party ke virudh mein nahi hai. Samaj aur desh ke bhalai ke liye baar baar main andolan karta aaya hun, usi prakar ka ye andolan hai. (I will launch a hunger strike from my village Ralegan Siddhi from 10 am tomorrow (January 30). My protest is not against any individual, group, or party. I have time after time launched campaigns in the interest of the society and the country and this protest is similar to all of them),” said Hazare.
Attacking the Modi government he said, “Lokpal kanoon bankar 5 saal hogaye aur Narendra Modi sarkar 5 saal baad, baar baar bahanebaazi karti hai. Ye Narendra Modi sarkar ke dil mein agar hota toh kya 5 saal lagna zaruri tha. (The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill 2013 were passed five years ago but the Narendra Modi government is delaying it again and again. If Narendra Modi government was really willing to implement the law then why it is not implementing it even after five years)?
Hazare had earlier sat on a fast at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi on March 23 last year but called it off when the PMO gave a written assurance that his demands would be fulfilled.
In July last year, the 81-year-old social activist said he will launch a hunger strike from October 2 against the Union government for the delay in appointment of a Lokpal at the Centre.
“I will go on a hunger strike from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, at my native Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra,” he had told PTI.
“There is a lack of will in this government (NDA) to curb corruption and hence, it is giving a lot of reasons and delaying the appointment of the Lokpal,” Hazare said, criticising the NDA government over the delay in the appointment of the Lokpal and implementation of the Lokpal Bill.
He relented after the intervention of Maharashtra chief minister and other ministers of his cabinet.
“On October 2, my agitation was to start from my village Ralegan Siddhi, but Maharashtra chief minister and other ministers again assured me that the appointment of Lokpal and Lokayuktas was in a final stage. I decided to give one more chance and wait till January 30,” he said.
Then again on December 1, Hazare said he will launch a hunger strike from January 30, 2019, at his village if the Lokpal is not appointed.
He wrote a letter to Jitendra Singh, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), accusing the NDA government of deferring the appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states alleging that the government is making excuses to avoid the appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states.
“The Narendra Modi government first said that Lokpal could not be appointed as there was no Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha (who is to be part of the selection process) and later it said there was no eminent jurist in the selection committee,” said Hazare.
Hazare, who was conferred the Padma Shri in 1990 and Padma Bhushan in1992, had, in 2011, launched India Against Corruption campaign and sat on a hunger strike at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi.
The 12-day hunger strike of Hazare drew massive public support across the country.