New Delhi, Aug 17: Thousands of Anna Hazare supporters today swamped the national capital's VVIP areas with hundreds coming close to Parliament House raising slogans in support of the Gandhian activist.
The limelight of the protest shifted from Tihar jail to India Gate and Jantar Mantar in the evening as people “worried about corruption” descended on the streets waving tricolour and chanting slogans, responding to a call from Hazare to fill the roads leading to Parliament.
The area close to the Parliament House, where heated debate on the handling of Anna Hazare affair was about to conclude with Home Minister P Chidambaram's reply, reverberated with clapping, slogan-shouting, and cries of Vande-Mataram as a huge crowd thronged Parliament Street.
A car of a senior official of Delhi Police was stuck in the crowd and allowed to go after booing and anti-police slogans.
A section of people, who were scheduled to march from India Gate to Jantar Mantar, drifted towards Parliament despite their leaders appealing them to stick to the route.
The procession of about 2,000 people reached the barricades put up by the police near Parliament annexe.
The Delhi Police contingent deployed near the Parliament complex persuaded the crowd to return after they sang patriotic songs and raised slogans of Vande-matram. “I have come here with my family to support the cause for which Anna Hazare is fighting,” said Nitish Mehra, who is a businessman from Karol Bagh, Delhi. Mehra had come with his two kids and wife.
Carrying the tri-colours, posters and boards with messages, the group comprised the young and the old alike. Some have come after their office duties while many had taken leave from their offices and businesses to take part in the rally.
“I hope those sitting in Parliament listen to our voices. We want them to hear our voices. That's why we have come on the doors of Parliament. Jan Lokpal bill should be passed. This is our demand. This is high time that leaders should listen to us,” said Nimisha of Delhi University who came here with her friends.
Twenty six-year old entrepreneur Rimu Mattas had taken a day off to support Anna and his cause.
“I gave my employees an off today and we all have come here to protest against corruption which has plagued the nation”.
Young lawyer Shweta Sharma said that to attribute corruption to any one person would be unjustifiable.
“It's an attitudinal problem. We cannot say a handful of people are corrupt. It's a problem that will be there with any government that comes to power. Change is needed at individual level.” She was joined by several other people from her law firm.
Later, the protesters held a candlelit vigil. PTI