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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Anna breaks fast, thanks Cong, BJP

Satyajit Joshi, Hindustan Times  Ralegan Siddhi, December 18, 2013
First Published: 15:21 IST(18/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:42 IST(19/12/2013)

From Ramlila to Ralegan – Anna Hazare’s struggle for the Lokpal bill finally came to a successful end after 20 long months.

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An hour after the Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal bill on Wednesday, Hazare broke his nine-day fast with a glass of coconut water. And as his followers celebrated, he sternly reminded them that though the battle was won, the war was far from over.

“I am planning to set up vigilance committees to ensure that provisions of Lokpal are being strictly implemented,” he said. “Formed at the block-level and national-level, these committees would also see to the setting up of Lokayuktas in various states.”

With his relationship with erstwhile follower Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party hitting a new low, Hazare struck a note of caution. While the new committees would comprise retired judges, police officers and independent individuals, he would ensure that nobody could “misuse the name of Anna Hazare”.

The AAP had been vocal about Hazare’s acceptance of the Lokpal in its current form, terming it “Jokepal”.

Embittered further by the Gopal Rai incident, Hazare was unsparing in his criticism.

“Nothing will happen for country if you try to appear before camera on every occasion. I have reached here because I always avoided cameras.” Also, “we have not accepted funds from any industrialists or foreigner for this agitation”.

The last reference was to the queries on expenses he had raised, embarrassing the AAP, while campaigning for the Delhi Assembly elections was at its peak.

The Congress and the BJP came in for special praise. “With folded hands, I thank all political parties, particularly the Congress and the BJP and others, excepting the Samajwadi Party, for supporting the sentiments of the people”, he said.

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