In the coming week, the city is likely to witness two parallel agitations – with exactly the opposite agenda.
Between December 27 and 29, Team Anna would hold their stir at the Bandra-Kurla Complex ground. During this time, a group of activists from the non-government organisation Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad might go on an indefinite fast at Azad Maidan – the venue of Hazare’s movement in August – to protest against the latter’s agitation.
The activists will file a writ petition in the Bombay high court on Monday, demanding the court to issue directions to stop the protest.
“Hazare’s agitation is misguiding the nation. Even the court has said that if the bill is discussed in the Parliament, there isn’t a need for an agitation. Congregating people here disrupts civil life,” said Mangleshwar Tripathi, president, Uttar Bharatiya Vikas Parishad. “I have applied for permission to start a hunger strike at the Azad Maidan at the local police station. If the court does not stop Hazare’s agitation on Monday, I will go on a fast.”
Meanwhile, the National Campaign for Equal Opportunity (NCEO), a forum that is also protesting against Hazare’s agitation, will organise awareness campaigns across the city to educate people about existing laws and why neither the Jan Lokpal Bill nor the Lokpal Bill are warranted. “Our Constitution is strong enough to investigate and punish the corrupt. We will educate people about the Prevention of Corruption Act, which should be implemented strictly instead of passing a new law,” said Chandrakant Jagtap, NCEO conveyor.
The Congress came down heavily on Hazare too. State spokesperson Sachin Sawant questioned Hazare’s decision to shift the fast from Delhi to Mumbai citing harsh weather in the capital. “Mahatma Gandhi travelled to and stayed in England, where the cold is much harsher than in Delhi,” he said.