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After 10 lakh support letters, Kejriwal to call off fast today

Aam Aadmi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal who has been on a fast for 15 days, protesting against inflated water and power bills in New Delhi, has decided to call off his fast today at 5 pm.

"Everyone in Delhi is upset with inflated power bills. Around 10.5 lakh people signed our petition. Does that mean they will stop paying power bills? No. But this is just the beginning," Kejriwal said, announcing the decision to call off his fast tomorrow.

AAP activists will start a drive to restore electricity connections in the national capital  after Kejriwal breaks his fast.

While Kejriwal had been staying at a house in Sunder Nagri, a resettlement colony in North East Delhi district, AAP volunteers had been asking people to sign letters saying they will not pay their bills, which they say are unjustly inflated.

Arvind Kejriwal. AP

Arvind Kejriwal. AP

On Thursday, Anna Hazare had appealed to Kejriwal to call off his fast, while addressing a rally in Ambala during his Jantantra Yatra. AAP senior leaders Manish Sisodia and Dr Kumar Vishvas met Hazare in Haryana late on Thursday evening. In the meeting which continued for around three hours, the social activist, who is on a country wide tour, expressed his inability to be in Delhi when Kejriwal breaks his fast.

However, party members returned to Delhi with a letter from Hazare asking his former associate to end his fast.

"Our paths are different but our destination is same. We will stand for each whenever required," Hazare had said when he met him on 30 March.

Since the launch of his political party late last year, Kejriwal has been taking on the Delhi government over water and power tariffs, that he claims are wrongly inflated. The AAP is hoping to garner votes based on this campaign in the Delhi assembly polls that are scheduled to take place around 2013-end.

To galvanise voters on inflated bills, Kejriwal has been fasting for 14 days living in a house in Sundar Nagri, a resettlement colony in northeast Delhi. AAP claims to have collected more than 10 lakh letters of support, in which people have pledged not pay their inflated water and electricity bills.

"This is a referendum. One should not measure it by the number of signatures we received. These signatures signify that people are angry about inflated bills," said Kejriwal addressing crowd at the venue of his fast today.

"Ten lakh people signing letters does not mean that all of them will not submit their bills. But a beginning has been made. Even if ten per cent of them don't pay their bills, it will be significant," he added.