Anna ends fast, vows more anti-graft crusade

Anna ends fast, vows more anti-graft crusade

Anna ends fast, vows more anti-graft crusade

Addressing a huge gathering at Jantar Mantar after breaking his symbolic day-long fast, Hazare threatened to intensify the stir by courting arrest if the government fails to pass a law in the winter session of parliament for a strong Lokpal that covers the entire bureaucracy and the prime minister under its purview.

"The government should listen to the voice of the people. Agitation will continue for a strong Lokpal," said Hazare, flanked by leaders of various political parties who debated in favour of an effective ombudsman.

Hazare told the politicians -- including Arun Jaitley of the Bharatiya Janata Party, Brinda Karat of the Communist Party of India-Marxist and A.B. Bardhan of the Communist Party of India -- to fight for a strong Lokpal inside the parliament and force the government to pass an effective law.

"You fight inside parliament, we will fight outside. If the government disagrees you should join us in street protests," he said.

"Come to the streets for a larger campaign. Let us see how the government does not listen to us."

He said if the Lokpal bill is not passed in the winter session, his supporters would intensify their protests and let themselves get arrested to fill the jails of India.

"Not a single jail should be left empty, such will be our campaign," he said, to thunderous applause from his supporters.

The politicians earlier backed Hazare on having a strong ombudsman with the prime minister under its ambit but cautioned that he should be rigid about getting his version of the bill adopted.

He thanked the youth in particular for coming out in large numbers for the day-long agitation.

Hazare launched a bitter attack on the government saying it was "intoxicated" by power.
He reiterated his warning to the government to go on an indefinite fast from Dec 27 if it does not pass a strong Lokpal bill.

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