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In absence of ‘anticipated support’ from media, Hazare shifts focus to social media

The crusader has also clarified that those already associated with various outfits can join the protest without an affidavit, a precondition for core team members who had to give in writing that they would never join a political party or contest elections.

pune Updated: Mar 11, 2018 23:15 IST
Yogesh Joshi
Yogesh Joshi
Hindustan Times, Pune
Support,Pune,Anna Hazare
The anti-corruption crusader has said the affidavit is mandatory for those activists who want to take crucial responsibilities and remained associated with the movement for a longer period of time.(HT)

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his core team has decided to focus on the use of social media to garner support ahead of the protest against the government in Delhi on March 23. The crusader, in absence of an ‘anticipated support’ to the agitation with barely two weeks left till its commencement, has also clarified that those already associated with various outfits can join the protest without an affidavit, a precondition for core team members who had to give in writing that they would never join a political party or contest elections.

The anti-corruption crusader has said the affidavit is mandatory for those activists who want to take crucial responsibilities and remained associated with the movement for a longer period of time. “Those activists who are already associated with various outfits are not required to submit the affidavit. These workers can continue to serve the country through the organisations they are associated with,” said Anna Hazare in a press note.

On Sunday, while speaking at Urali Devachi near Pune, Hazare accused media of giving in to pressure from vested interests and not covering his proposed agitation. A day before, Hazare, in the meeting of core committee members held in Delhi, also had asked activists to use social media to reach out to masses to create awareness about the proposed agitation. “Media is not paying attention to our agitation. It may be possible that they are under undue pressure. In absence of their coverage, we need to use social media effectively,” he had said.

While Hazare’s initial insistence on the affidavit came out of his past experiences when leaders like Arvind Kejriwal joined the Lokpal agitation during 2011-2012, his latest position, according to Hazare’s close associates, has emerged after lukewarm response to the buildup to the agitation.

Karanveer Thaman, a member of core committee from Punjab, said, “It’s true that media are not supporting us. However, we need to create such an atmosphere that media will come to us.”

Upset over the non-appointment of Lokpal for the last four years, Hazare has announced a protest against the government on March 23, observed as the Martyrs’ Day. Ahead of the protest, Hazare has constituted a 20-member committee to prepare for what he termed as “satyagraha”. The core committee members chosen from various parts of country also discussed the possibility of Hazare sitting on an indefinite hunger strike if the government does not pay heed to the agitation.

“Initially, the nature of protest will be similar to that of satyagraha. After a few days, if the government does not accept out demands, then we will start a hunger strike,” said Sushil Bhatt, a core committee member from Uttarakhand. Another member from Maharashtra, Shivaji Khedkar, said if the crusader, at the age of 80, is sitting on a hunger strike, other members of the core committee should also undertake the hunger strike.

First Published: Mar 11, 2018 23:14 IST