Social activist Anna Hazare has now trained his guns at the Congress-Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) alliance in the state.
Hazare has threatened that he will go on a hunger strike at Alandi near Pune if the state government doesn’t make necessary amendments to strengthen the anti-corruption ombudsman, Lokayukta.
He has asked the government to pass a bill to this effect in the winter session of the assembly, which will begin in November.
In a letter written to Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, Hazare has expressed his anguish and demanded a stronger institution of Lokayukta in the state on the lines of the anti-corruption ombudsman in Karnataka.
Hazare’s proposed agitation comes barely a few months before the civic elections in Mumbai, Pune, Thane and Nashik. His agitation is likely to create a major embarrassment to the government, particularly, to the NCP.
The party had distanced itself from Hazare’s agitation in Delhi and Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar had resigned from the chairmanship of the group of ministers after Hazare questioned his continuance.
Anti-graft crusader wants the Lokayukta to be more effective and has also demanded that the state vigilance commission start investigating the cases of corruption already registered in the state. He has asked for immediate appointment of the state vigilance commissioner to probe the complaints of corruption.
Hazare also slammed the government, saying that it was merely doing lip service. He said the government was only expressing oral sympathy for eradication of corruption, but not doing anything substantial.
“This is because the Lokayukta doesn’t have any power,” said Hazare, adding that the government must show that it is indeed concerned in empowering the Lokayukta in Maharashtra.
Team Anna has planned Hazare’s nationwide tour to generate awareness about the Lokpal Bill. Hazare will visit six states, where Assembly elections are due next year.