Anna Hazare on Thursday said he was not afraid of death and dared the government to fire bullets in the event of his going on fast to press for a strong lokpal bill.
"Anna is not afraid of death. They can fire bullets and not just use lathis to repress our agitation and the people of this country will decide whether India has a democratic rule or a dictatorship," Hazare told reporters.
The anti-corruption crusader said this in Pune when asked to comment on Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's remarks on his plans to go on a fast from August 16.
Digvijay Singh however denied saying that the social activist would be given a treatment similar to yoga guru Ramdev if he goes on fast unto death.
"I am surprised and pained at reports in today's newspapers which quoted me as saying that the treatment given to Ramdev would also be meted out to Anna Hazare," the Congress General Secretary told PTI in Bhopal.
Singh said that during his interaction with reporters on Wednesday in Jabalpur what he said was that the Congress had nothing to do with the manner in which either Hazare or Ramdev will be treated.
He said Congress had nothing to do with how the two were treated as it is always decided by the local administration after assessing the prevailing situation at that moment.
The outspoken leader maintained that if there was a need for holding a fast, the younger activists of civil society like Arvind Kejriwal or Prashant Bhushan should do it instead of Hazare.
Hazare, who was on his way to his native village Ralegaon in Ahmednagar district, also wondered whether the present Congress party was the same that had links with Mahatma Gandhi and leaders like Kamraj.
Asserting that to protest is the democratic right of every citizen, Hazare said, "Congress seems determined to crush our agitation for a strong lokpal. But it should be remembered now that it is not just Anna Hazare but the entire country that is supporting this agitation and the people will teach them a lesson".