Noida: With anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare all set to observe a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar on Sunday to press for strong Lokpal and whistle-blower protection bills, all eyes are on Delhiites as to whether they will come forward in huge numbers to support the fight for Lokpal Bill.
Before leaving for Jantar Mantar from here to observe the fast, Hazare said that the government is not listening to the voice of people.
Addressing reporters, Hazrae said, “We will go to Jantar Mantar and observe a one day fast for the families who have lost their near and dear ones while fighting against corruption and injustice.
“The government is not listening to the cries of families of people who have died fighting corruption. The government has become insensitive and has not even probed the killings,” the anti-corruption crusader said.
Anna further said that he will start a big ‘andolan’ for these families.
Sunday is D-day for Team Anna as their agitation for a strong anti-graft bill at Mumbai’s MMRDA ground last year had turned out to be a flop show.
Notably, Team Anna during the month of April last year – when they started their agitation for Jan Lokpal Bill from the national capital – was successful in garnering support.
The good show and support continued in August as well when Anna Hazare was arrested and people followed his appeal for ‘jail bharo andolan’, which saw thousands from all walks of life willingly going to police to be sent to jail.
The good show didn’t stop there and as Anna was released from Tihar Jail, he went ahead with his fast at Ramlila Maidan. There too, people turned up in thousands. The nation witnessed a revolution of sorts with people pitching in from various parts of the country.
The pressure was such that the establishment had to bow to the power of democracy and Union Minister Pranab Mukehrejee announced in Parliament that a strong Lokpal Bill will be passed with amendments agreed with Team Anna.
However, Team Anna lost the plot midway when they started campaigning against the Congress party in Hisar by-elections, a decision which till date hurts them. The open criticism of the Congress leaders and not a single attack on other political parties, especially the BJP, somehow left doubts in people’s mind as to whether Team Anna’s fight was apolitical.
Then came the month of December. The entire political class debated the Lokpal Bill in the extended Winter Session of Parliament, but no consensus was reached.
Team Anna had shifted to Mumbai due to the winter chill in Delhi to agitate in the financial capital, but their decision backfired as hardly any Mumbaikar turned up at the venue. The situation was such that an ill Anna had to call off his fast mid-way.
The Budget Session is now underway and the government had promised that an effective bill will be passed in this session. However, it doesn’t appear to be so as the all party-meet chaired by the Prime Minister failed to arrive at a consensus.
Today, Anna Hazare, along with yoga guru Baba Ramdev, will sit on a day-long fast at Jantar Mantar to demand that Parliament pass the Lokpal Bill and a stronger whistle-blower protection programme under the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Team Anna has left no stone unturned to bring in people to support the fight for Jan Lokpal Bill. Street plays, pamphlets to drum up support and a series of meetings to form teams of volunteers and take care of logistics -- Team Anna worked overtime to ensure that their protest at Jantar Mantar is a success.