With crowds of about 7000 people returning to Jantar Mantar for the Team Anna protest, Anna Hazare has joined the protest, embarking on a fast unto death, until the teams demands for a stronger Lokpal and an SIT team to probe allegations of corruption against ministers is met.
I will fast until we get Jan Lokpal,” he said.
Meanwhile 15 protesters who were sitting on a fast unto death with Team Anna members have had to be hospitalized, according to a report by CNN-IBN.
The crowds for the Team Anna protest have been extremely thin, but a new influx of supporters on Saturday, along with the added appeal of seeing Anna himself fast, may just bring the movement back to its former glory, when it practically brought the entire political establishment to its knees.
On Saturday Anna took on both the Congress and BJP saying the country’s future does not lie safe in their hands but said he himself will not fight the elections though he would campaign for those with clean backgrounds selected by the people.
He also accused the government of cheating them repeatedly on the issue of Lokpal and that he is forced to fast again and again, which is “not a happy thing”.
Talking about a political alternative for next Lok Sabha elections, the 74-year-old activist said if “good people” do not enter Parliament, there will be no change in system and country will not get a strong Lokpal.
“For a vote, Rs. 15,000, Rs. 20,000, Rs. 30,000 are given (to voters). Those who get elected are making money and they don’t know where to keep this money. So they send it to foreign countries. Now its time to awaken the voters.
“Some are saying that we should give alternative, we should form a party. Rs. 15-20 crore is spend by a candidate for Assembly elections and Rs. 50 crore for Lok Sabha polls. I will not fight elections. I will not put up a party,” he said.
However, Hazare said, he will tour the country urging people to select people to fight elections. He said the team will probe their background and then put their names of Internet seeking people’s opinion about them.
“From them, we will put up some people for election. I will go for their campaigning and tell them that this is a good candidate and we need good people in Parliament…the country’s future is not safe with Congress and BJP,” Hazare said.
While Ramdev had disapproved of attacks against Mukherjee after he was sworn-in as President on Wednesday, Hazare had congratulated Mukherjee and refrained from making any adverse remarks against him.
“Some people are saying that we should not talk about Pranab Mukherjee‘s corruption after he became President. I don’t agree with that,” Kejriwal said, addressing people at Jantar Mantar.
Around 50 Team Anna supporters on Saturday also staged a protest outside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh‘s residence.
Protesters were seen trying to climb the gates of the well-secured residence while police tried to prevent them from doing so. They also threw coal inside the premises.
Anna supporters also wrote slogans against the Prime Minister on the roads as well as the wall of the residence.
Coming out is support of the government, main opposition party the BJP warned Team Anna against criticising the Parliament or the parliamentary system.
“In a democracy everyone has the right to speak. Civil society and the government also have the right to speak. They are using their right. But no one should cross the limit,” BJP Spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.
“If an MP is wrong – there are murder or other criminal cases against him – then every one has the right to name him. But it is not right to speak against the entire Parliament or Parliamentary system…Everyone should remember their Lakshman Rekha (limit),” he added.