After keeping a low profile for almost three months, anti-graft campaigner Anna Hazare was back in action on Sunday, saying the UPA government should either bring a strong lokpal bill or prepare for a defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.
“This government is not listening to the cries of the people. It should either bring jan lokpal or go out of power in the 2014 general elections,” the 74-year-old told his supporters during his day-long fast at Jantar Mantar for a strong whistleblowers’ bill.
“This government neither has any intention nor does it have any political will to bring a strong bill to protect whistleblowers as part of the jan lokpal. We will not relent. We will have to keep fighting,” Hazare said.
Raising a new issue, he demanded that FIRs be registered against "14 tainted ministers" in the union cabinet by August, failing which a ‘jail bharo’ agitation would be launched.
The activist’s mention of forming a joint front with yoga guru Ramdev for future action and a resolution moved by his key aide, Arvind Kejriwal, demanding that the government reveal the names of individuals having money in Swiss bank accounts, was a clear indication of Team Anna’s big revival plan after the damp squib in Mumbai in December last year.
Speeches by political leaders against their movement in Parliament, especially by Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Janata Dal (United) head Sharad Yadav were played to a jeering crowd, reflecting the team’s strategy to once again revive public anger against the political class.
Hazare also demanded justice for the family of IPS officer Narendra Kumar, who was murdered by the mining mafia in Madhya Pradesh earlier this month.