7 days later, 2 Union ministers, Maha CM reach out to fasting Anna Hazare
The government has reached out to social activist Anna Hazare, whose indefinite fast to push for appointment of Lokpal entered seventh day on Tuesday as two Union ministers and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis met him at Ralegan Siddhi in Pune. Fadnavis was accompanied by Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Minister of State for Defence Subhash Bhamre.
This was the second day of talks between the ministers and Anna Hazare, who began his hunger strike on January 30. Earlier on Monday, Bhamre and Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan held talks with Anna Hazare and appealed to him to call off his hunger strike.
Hazare refused to end his protest describing the government’s “attitude” over the matter is “insincere. News agency PTI quoted him as saying, “This insincere attitude of the government is very disappointing…I will not call off my hunger strike till the government initiates concrete steps beyond hollow assurances.”
He also accused the Narendra Modi government of misleading the people on Lokpal bill. “They (Centre) are misleading the people on Lokpal bill. Also, the draft of Lokayukta bill by the Maharashtra government is also misleading, hence I am not accepting it,” he said.
The anti-graft activist launched his hunger strike under the banner of ‘Jan Andolan Satyagraha’ in his village with the demand that the government should set up Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in all states. Lokpal bill was passed by Parliament in 2013 but the government is yet to appoint it, Hazare has said.
On Monday, Anna Hazare had said the BJP and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) “used” him to win the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and Delhi assembly polls in 2015 respectively. He said, “Yes. The BJP used me in 2014. Everybody knows that it was my agitation for Lokpal that catapulted the BJP and also the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to power. Now I have lost all regards for them.”
He hit out at both the Centre and the Maharashtra government. “For how long will the lies continue? This government has let down the people of the country. The state (Maharashtra) government’s claims that 90 per cent of my demands have been conceded are also false,” the 81-year-old activist said.