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Hazare meets Kalam; not to return Padma Bhushan

Hazare had a 30-minute meeting with Kalam during which he said Prez asked him to reconsider the decision.
None | By Press Trust of India, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2006 10:37 PM IST

Noted social activist Anna Hazare, who had threatened to return his Padma Bhushan award protesting government plans to amend the Right to Information Act, on Wednesday decided not to go ahead with it after meeting President APJ Abdul Kalam.

Hazare had a 30-minute meeting with Kalam at the Rashtrapati Bhawan during which he said the President asked him to reconsider the decision.

"If I do not heed to the President's request, it would be an insult to him," he told PTI.

Hazare had announced that he would launch a campaign protesting the amendments to the Right to Information Act, as decided by the Union Cabinet.

Hazare, who had waged a relentless campaign for the RTI Act, said he apprised Kalam about the efficacy of the legislation.

"RTI has had a good effect in controlling corruption and to exempt, file notings, information on cabinet decisions would have a disastrous effect," he said.

He said the President assured him that he would look into his demands and also visit Ralegan Siddhi in December.

Hazare had almost single-handedly changed the once barren region in Ahmednagar district into an ideal village by involving the local population.

Asked about the agitation he planned to launch to protest proposed changes in RTI Act, Hazare said he would decide on it after consulting his colleagues in Maharashtra.

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