Lokpal Bill: Anna sets 96-hr deadline for govt

Social activist Anna Hazare returned to the capital on Tuesday, setting a fresh 96-hour deadline for the government on Lokpal Bill failing which he would go on an indefinite fast once again from Sunday.
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Updated on Jul 25, 2012 12:40 AM IST
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Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi

Social activist Anna Hazare returned to the capital on Tuesday, setting a fresh 96-hour deadline for the government on Lokpal Bill failing which he would go on an indefinite fast once again from Sunday.

The government did not get drawn into a war of words either with Hazare or any of his team members, but the Prime Minister’s Office went public with the highlights of anti-corruption measures implemented over the last 12 months.

The veteran activist and his team used strong language against the government and even the president-elect Pranab Mukherjee. Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said a “civil war-like situation” appeared to be emerging, referring to the violence at Maruti factory at Manesar and in Assam.

Hazare threw a last-minute surprise on his arrival by announcing that he too would fast along with Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai who will go on a hunger strike from Wednesday. On persuasion from his team members, Hazare later agreed to postpone his fast plans till Sunday.

“I had told my villagers that I would also go on fast from tomorrow. My blood pressure is fluctuating. The team told me that the fight is long and I should not fast now. I acceded to their wish. I will wait for four days and watch what the government does,” he told villagers.

Hazare said the fight was for lokpal though his team members highlighted that the latest fast was to put pressure on the government to form a Special Investigation Team to probe the graft allegations against 14 senior ministers of the UPA.

Meanwhile, the PMO released a set of anti-graft measures that include doing away with the discretionary powers of ministers and time-bound decisions on prosecution requests.

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