Nearly seven years after his anti-corruption movement caught the imagination of millions of Indians, social activist Anna Hazare today slammed the government and accused the administration of trying to create hurdles to stall his protest in the capital demanding a competent Lokpal and better production cost for farm produce.
“You cancelled trains carrying protesters to Delhi, you want to push them to violence. Police Force deployed for me as well. I wrote in many letters that I don’t need police protection. Your protection won’t save me. This sly attitude of the government is not done,” Hazare said.
The anti-corruption crusader is expected to start his indefinite fast in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground, today. He was granted permission by the Delhi Police yesterday to hold the protest campaign at Ramlila Maidan.
The Gandhian has been pressing for setting up of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states, besides implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, which has suggested ways to address the agrarian distress.
Hazare has also demanded setting up of Agriculture Price Commission on the lines of the Election Commission and Niti Aayog.
Hazare had earlier said that he would do satyagraha till life is left in his body, and accused the central government of not allotting space.
The venue of his protest will be the same iconic Ramlila Maidan, where he had sat on a hunger strike in 2011 demanding constitution of a Lokpal to investigate cases of corruption.
Hazare has turned down last-minute overtures from several Maharashtra ministers to call off his hunger strike.
Maharashtra Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan had earlier met Hazare to persuade him to give up his fast, but the activist, who has put together a team of around 6,000 people across India for the purpose, indicated that he would go for the fast until Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government came up with a concrete proposal to empower the Lokpal.
He said he would do “satyagraha from jail” if not allotted a space in New Delhi.
Earlier, 31 apolitical farmer associations from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh participated to set the agenda for the March 23 satyagraha.
Retired Supreme Court judge and former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde have announced to join the social activist’s stir.
The activist had in 2011 anti-corruption campaign and 12-day hunger strike warned that he would resume his fast if an effective law was not instituted to deal with corruption and misgovernance.
The parliament had in the 2011 hunger strike aftermath passed an unprecedented resolution in support of his demands.