Mumbai: As Anna Hazare brings his fast to Mumbai and continues to face hurdles galore, he is determined to mark his dissatisfaction over the government's Lokpal Bill — even if that means courting arrest before he planned.
The face of India's anti-corruption movement, Hazare, today told reporters he would go to jail if he and his supporters do not get a place for agitation.
"Even in Delhi, they put me in jail first and then gave us a place. The same will happen here, we will at least get a place in jail," Hazare told CNN-IBN.
Keeping with the strategy, Team Anna opened registrations for supporters to join his campaign and be part of the "Jail Bharo" movement through a website called Jailbharo.com. Through the site supporters can express their willingness to go to jail to protest the government's bill and to lobby for the Jan Lokpal bill.
Member of Team Anna, former cop and Magsaysay award winner, Kiran Bedi, heralded its opening on the microblogging site Twitter. She said, "B a Freedom fighter agnst corruption Register for Jail bharo. Sms to 575758 or call 07303150500 or http://bit.ly/vxUBRD ".
At last count at 4pm today, the website had already received 20,310 registrations, with Maharashtra and Delhi and the NCR region having the highest numbers. Maharashtra totalled 3,668 and Delhi and NCR has 3,660 registrations.
The website is taking registrations of people interested in the the 'jail bharo' movement to be held between 30 December and 1 January. Those interested can either sign in online and or through sms.
The original planned venue of the Mumbai Metropolitian Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) Grounds in Bandra Kurla Complex—with a capacity of one lakh people—had asked Team Anna to cough up Rs 17 lakhs for the venue for the three-day fast (including rent and deposit). Azad Maidan, Hazare's second venue option, was also turning out to be a roadblock as the state's sports department denied permission to Hazare to use part of the maidan for his fast citing school tournaments. Its other impediment being that it can accommodate only 5,000 people.
Watch Anna talking to the press today: