Showing no signs of relenting, Anna Hazare on Monday said he will go ahead with his three-day fast in Mumbai from Tuesday against a "weak" Lokpal Bill with his team raising the pitch for an independent probe agency for the ombudsman saying it was "non-negotiable" even as government asked him to wait till Parliament decides on the legislation.
Amid concerns over his health as he was suffering from viral infection, 74-year-old Hazare said he will go ahead with his protest and claimed that his movement was not against any side, person or party.
"For 25 years we have been fighting corruption. Congress people feel that this movement is against them. Tell us, how many times in 25 years have we led movements against you?" he said a day before his fast.
"I will agitate outside Sonia Gandhi's house on Dec 30," said Anna while talking to repoters in Ralegan Siddhi before leaving to Mumbai for his 3-day fast at MMRDA ground in Mumbai.
Anna also said: "My agitation is not against a political party. The government did a U-turn from what they promised earlier on the Lokpal Bill."
“This is not against some party or people, it is against the nature of being corrupt."
“What anti-corruption law did you make in 60 years of Independence? One Right to Information (RTI) for that also we had to fight for 10 years,” Hazare told reporters in his native village.
"Today, people are indulging in power and money. It is difficult for the poor to live,” he said.
Asked about his health, the activist said he was fit to fast for the Lokpal bill.
“For two days, I was ill because of the exertion, but I am now fit for the fast,” he said.
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal has said that the Anna Hazare campaign against corruption is equally opposed to communalism.
Speaking to journalists after Team Anna's core group held free and frank discussions with Muslim leaders, Kejriwal sought to dispel the impression that the movement was soft on communalism.
"Communalism is a bigger danger. We have said repeatedly that we are totally against communalism," he said, a day before Hazare starts a three-day fast here to demand a strong Lokpal.
Kejriwal underlined that corruption affected everyone irrespective of which religion they belonged to.
"Corruption does not discriminate between Hindus and Muslims. Corruption affects all communities. A corrupt officer is neither Hindu nor Muslim, he is corrupt."
Kejriwal also allayed fears that a larger gathering at the Hazare fast venue could lead to trouble or violence.
"In Delhi lakhs of people got together at Ramlila ground, yet there was no trouble. This is because we asked everyone to be vigilant."
Kejriwal clarified that India Against Corruption and the Hazare movement were not ranged against Parliament.
"It is the government that has betrayed the country, betrayed Parliament. We are appealing to parliament with folded hands to pass a good Lokpal bill."
A Muslim leader intervened to say that he and his colleagues had "a very good meeting" with Team Anna and that the latter had "cleared many doubts we had".
"We spoke about communalism openly," he said. "As far as corruption is concerned, we are always against it."
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)