Anna Hazare warns of hunger strike from January 30

New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday said that he would be forced to launch a hunger strike at his village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra from January 30, 2019, on 71st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, to protest against the non-appointment of Lokpal, Lokayuktas despite repeated assurances by the government.

Hazare has written to Minister of State in Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Jitendra Singh, accusing the Central government of making excuses to avoid the appointment of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states.

“The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act was passed in 2013. People of the country were hopeful about the appointment of Lokpal and Lokayukta to arrest widespread corruption. However, there was a change of power and Narendra Modi government came to power. After Modi government came to power, we wrote thirty times to the government for appointment of Lokpal, Lokayuktas. However, Modi ji did not even send a reply,” reads the letter.

“Initially, Modi government said the Lokpal could not be appointed as there was no leader of the opposition. Later the government started saying since there was no imminent jurist in the selection committee. Therefore, Lokpal, Lokayuktas could not be appointed. Appointment of Lokpal kept getting postponed on some or the other excuse,” the letter adds.

“The Supreme Court has admonished Modi government many times and has asked for the appointment of Lokpal and Lokayuktas at the earliest. However, with some or the other excuse the appointment of Lokpal, Lokayukta has not taken place. The present government has spent four years in making excuses,” Hazare further states in the letter.

The social activist said that as the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government intentionally did not appoint Lokpal, Lokayuktas in four years, he sat on a fast at the Ramlila Maidan on March 23, 2018, but called it off later when the Prime Minister’s Office on March 29, gave a written assurance that his demand would be fulfilled.

“On the written assurance while breaking my fast I had given time to the Modi government through Chief Minister of Maharashtra Devendra Fadnavis that if the Lokpal, Lokayuktas were not appointed by October 2, 2018, birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, the protest will again start,” Hazare writes in the letter.

“On October 2, 2018, my protest was to start from my village Ralegan Siddhi, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra and other Ministers again assured me that the appointment of Lokpal, Lokayuktas was at the final stage. I decided to give one more chance and wait till 30 Jan 2019. Reason being, it was not my personal matter but the matter concerning people of the country. I gave time again and again since I had trust that matters could be solved through discussions. But now I feel that this is deceiving people of the country,” he further wrote in the letter.

Hazare said that despite being in power for more than four years, the Prime Minister Modi government is not appointing Lokpal, Lokayuktas. He also said that the present government does not have intentions of appointing Lokpal Lokayuktas.

“It has been my belief that it is fortunate to die for the country rather than dying out of heart attack. You and your government must complete the written assurances given on March 29, 2018, or else I would be starting my protest from January 30, 2019, from my village Ralegan Siddhi,” Hazare has stated in the letter.