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Pass strong Lokpal Bill or quit: Hazare to govt

india Updated: Dec 17, 2011 20:03 IST

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Accusing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government of "cheating the people" of the country, Anna Hazare on Saturday told it to pass strong Lokpal Bill or quit and called on people to hold demonstrations and fill jails if this is not done.

"I will start my fast in New Delhi on Dec 27 and all of you will hold demonstrations carrying the national flag and raising slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', 'Vande Mataram' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'," he told a large public meeting in Bangalore.

"Three days later, you will fill the jails if the bill is not passed by then," the social activist told the boisterous crowd that enthusiastically responded to almost every statement of his with loud cheers and whistles.

He urged the people to "gherao" (surround) the houses of MPs opposing a strong lokpal but ensure that there was no violence.

Calling the central government a 'jhooti sarkar" (government that lies), hazare said, "They are not cheating me but the people of this country".

Hazare said the agitation will continue till a strong lokpal is in place.

He said the aim is not bring down this government. "Purpose will not be served by bringing down the government because another government that will come will do the same thing."

Hazare said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an "honest man, a good man but is remote-controlled".

He lashed out at home minister P Chidambaram, saying "if lokpal law was there, he would have been in jail by now".

Hazare said Chidambaram had planned to do a Ramdev on him, a reference to the post-midnight police action to end the yoga teacher's agitation at New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan on the issue of black money abroad.

Hazare was here to address the rally organised by the India Against Corruption movement to "save Lokayukta" in Karnataka.

The Lokayukta in the state has been headless since Shivaraj V Patil quit on Sep 19.

The Bharatiya Janata Party government led by DV Sadananda Gowda and Governor HR Bhardwaj are at loggerheads over naming a new lokayukta.

Bhardwaj has not accepted the Gowda cabinet's choice of former Kerala high court chief justice SR Bannurmath as he is caught in a controversy over building a house in Bangalore on a site meant for civic amenities.

The Bangalore rally was also addressed by former Karnataka lokayukta N Santosh Hegde and former Indian Police Service (IPS) officer Kiran Bedi, both prominent members of team Anna, and freedom fighter HS Doreswamy.