Ralegan Siddhi, Dec 26: Set to begin his fast for a strong Lokpal in Mumbai tomorrow, Anna Hazare today said repeated volte-face by the government over the issue had forced him to fast again.
“They formed a joint committee and then in the joint committee they did a U-turn. They formed a standing committee but the result was again a U-turn,” Hazare told reporters before he left for Mumbai to begin his three-day fast tomorrow.
“A written assurance was sent by the Prime Minister that the Bill would be passed in Parliament but even there the government did a U-turn,” he said.
The social activist said he was forced to fast again as despite being asked several times to bring an effective anti-graft law the government was not doing it.
“In spite of being asked not once but several times they (government) are still not creating an anti-corruption law. Out of compulsion this movement had to be launched,” he said.
However, Hazare claimed his movement was not against any political party.
“My agitation is not against any political party...it is against corruption,” he said.
“For 25 years we have been fighting corruption. Congress people feel this movement is against them. Tell us how many times in 25 years have we led movements against you,” he said.
Hazare said the government had brought only one law against corruption post Independence and that was the Right to Information Act. However, the social activist said for that too people had to fight for ten years.
Hazare said his movement was against the tendency towards corruption.
Hitting out at the political class, Hazare said they were caught in an unending cycle of spinning money through power and attaining power through money.
Hazare said on Tuesday after garlanding Mahatama Gandhi's statue in Juhu, a rally would move towards the MMRDA ground where he would sit on his protest fast.
He said people from various parts of Maharashtra will come to Mumbai while people from many states of the country would reach Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan despite the cold there to join the protest.
“What is happening to the poor, they (politicians) don't know because they are in Air conditioned rooms 24 hours a day,” Hazare said.
“On the 27, 28, 29 there will be a protest fast on the MMRDA ground in Mumbai. On the 30th we will have a ‘dharna' outside Sonia Gandhi's residence. That dharna would go on for three days,” he said.
Apprehending that the government may use force against him and his supporters, he said, “We know the government is very powerful. What they did to Ramdev everyone saw. In the middle of the night sleeping women were hit with lathis. We know that such a thing could be done to us as well but for us, we are not afraid of death,” Hazare said.
Hazare also requested his supporters especially the youth to observe non-violence.
“Some people will try to create obstacles but my request is that there should be no violence. There is a great strength in non-violence,” Hazare said.
“Youth are our national strength. I was a youth of 26 years when I decided that I have to do something and it became possible now. The youth should not forget Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev who sacrificed so much for the country,”he added.
Replying to reporters' queries, Hazare said he was unwell for a couple of days due to too much activity but had recovered before the ‘anshan'.
Meanwhile, the anti-corruption crusader today left his village for Mumbai for his fast in support of a strong Lokpal.
Hundreds of villagers gathered to see him off as he left by road for Alandi where he would pay tributes at Sant Dnyaneshwar Samadhi before reaching Mumbai tonight.
The fast, to be followed by a fill-the-jail campaign, is being held at the MMRDA ground at suburban Bandra-Kurla Complex where key Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi are scheduled to fast along with him while some others will undertake the fast in Delhi.