Fasting for the last eight days, Anna Hazare on Tuesday thanked the parties which helped pass Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha and appealed to the members of the Lok Sabha to ensure smooth passage of the legislation on Wednesday after which he will call off his fast.
A frail-looking but joyous Hazare vigorously waved the national tricolour and chanted 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' and 'Vande Mataram' as he celebrated the passage of the bill in the Upper House.
"This (passing of the bill) is a revolutionary step. In the last 40 years the bill was introduced eight times but never passed," Hazare, who along with former Army chief Gen VK Singh and ex-IPS officer Kiran Bedi remained glued to the TV, watching the proceedings, said addressing a gathering of supporters after the bill was passed.
"I thank all parties, everybody who supported the bill in the Rajya Sabha with the exception of Samajwadi Party. I also appeal to members of the Lok Sabha to pass the bill tomorrow. This bill is not Anna's demand alone, the country wants it," the 76-year-old anti-graft campaigner, said.
"Our leaders have begun to realise that the people want a legislation against corruption. I don't say it will stamp out corruption 100%, but it will definitely bring it down by 40-50%," he said.
Hazare said he would break his fast after the Lok Sabha passes the legislation on Tuesday of which he was confident.
The celebrations began even as the Upper House readied for a vote on the much-talked about bill, with Hazare waving the national flag as his supporters broke into a jig to the tune of popular Hindi film song 'Dil Diya Hai Jaan Bhi Denge, E Vatan Tere Liye'.
"On behalf of the people of country, I pray for passage of the bill, so that our country gets a good anti-corruption law," he said.
Commenting on the developments, including the correspondence between Hazare and Congress and BJP leaders, Bedi said, "Congress, BJP and other parties are recognising the moral authority which Anna exercises in the country today."