Anna Hazare calls off fast after Fadnavis govt accepts demands
Social activist Anna Hazare, 81, has called off his fast, Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said, adding that government has accepted his demands.
The government has reached out to social activist Anna Hazare, whose indefinite fast to push for appointment of anti-corruption watchdog, 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.
Fadnavis, who reached Hazare’s native Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district in the afternoon and held prolonged talks with him, said the government has accepted the activist’s demands and added that the process of appointing Lokpal will be initiated soon, news agency PTI reported.
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 had 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.”
Locals who observed a bandh recently to show support for Hazare’s agitation, restricted entry of government officials to the village on Tuesday.
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.”