Some protesters give it a miss, some turn up | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Some protesters give it a miss, some turn up

Many of Anna Hazare's supporters who were present at Ramlila Maidan during the mega protest in August did not turn up this time. The reasons varied from prior engagements to disagreement over the way the agitation is shaping up.

delhi Updated: Dec 28, 2011 00:40 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Many of Anna Hazare's supporters who were present at Ramlila Maidan during the mega protest in August did not turn up this time. The reasons varied from prior engagements to disagreement over the way the agitation is shaping up.

The winter chill also definitely played a role, but people came up with firm reasons for their absence.

"Even though the cause is great, the fact is that the people on stage are unknown to most of us. The movement has begun to lose steam," said Mukul Bakshi, a shopkeeper from Lajpat Nagar.

Delhi girl Priti Kumari, who works at a computer institute, said she had to skip the protest due to a prior engagement. "I had gone there in August and even now I fully support the cause. I will be going there hopefully tomorrow."

Then there are people like Nirmala Sharma who are not happy with way things are shaping up. Sharma, president of the Delhi-based Jagriti Mahila Samiti, said: "The agitation has become wayward now."

Sharma has another grudge: Hazare did not reply to her letter in which she asked "why he joined hands with IAC core team members Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi who did nothing to weed out corruption earlier".

But then, not all were missing in action. For instance, Dinesh Waghela, an anti-illegal mining activist from Goa in his 60s, has gone to Mumbai. "I am with Annaji here at Mumbai," Waghela told Hindustan Times over the phone.

Pankaj Sen, an engineer with an MNC who had taken a fortnight-long leave in August, has done a repeat act. "I had taken leave then and I have taken leave now too. I was at Ramlila Maidan for the entire day today," he said.

Vijay Bajaj, a homemaker and a staunch supporter of Team Anna since the Jantar Mantar days, returned to Ramlila Maidan on Tuesday. "My husband and I went to Ramlila Maidan for some time. Then we returned home to watch the Parliament debate on TV. We have also kept fast today," she said.

Barely 1,000-1,200 supporters showed up at Ramlila Maidan to oppose the government's version of the lokpal bill on Tuesday.