Anna Hazare postpones hunger strike

Ralegan Siddhi: Social activist Anna Hazare who was scheduled to go on hunger-strike from today postponed the agitation after talks with Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan.

He was to sit on hunger strike demanding appointment of Lokpal and welfare measures for farmers.

Earlier in July, Hazare had announced that he will launch a protest against the Union Government from October 2 in Maharashtra’s Ralegan Siddhi village over the delay in the implementation of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act.

He had said that the law would have helped curb at least 60-70 per cent of the corruption in the country. He said that his hunger strike in New Delhi in 2011 had caused the then Congress-led Union Government to come under considerable pressure, leading to the passing of the Lokpal Act in 2013.

The social activist had said that the execution of the law, which would result in the constitution of a Lokpal, an anti-corruption authority, was stalled ever since the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came into power.

He further alleged that apart from stalling the Lokpal’s implementation, the Prime Minister Modi-led Union government had passed laws to weaken it.

He had wondered how a government cannot prioritise a bill that was passed by both the houses of the parliament during the previous government, saying that, “These bills are instituted under the Constitution of the country. How can they stall it?”

Hazare held a hunger strike from March 23 to 30 demanding the appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states, among other demands.

Also, accusing the Centre of being apathetic to the issue of appointing Lokpal, Hazare underscored that it was clearly the ‘ego’ of the government for not executing the Act even after the Supreme Court’s direction.