New Delhi: A poor crowd on a weekend at Team Anna‘s indefinite fast today did not deter Anna Hazare to threaten a fast-unto-death from tomorrow on Lokpal issue and talk about a political alternative in the 2014 elections.
Hazare also took on 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 background selected by 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”.
“I will fast until we get Jan Lokpal,” Hazare, whose four-day ultimatum to government on a decision on his demands ends today, told a crowd of around 1,000 this afternoon.
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.
On the thinner crowd at the protest venue, he said those talking about it do not have the vision to see the crowd.
“The colour of your spectacle determines the colour you see,” the Gandhian said and claimed that the movement is now on in 400 districts.
Hazare also said most of the big grounds remain unfilled even during election rallies of big parties. “By getting crowds alone, you won’t get the work done. You have to work hard for it,” he said.
The dwindling crowds were a concern for the organisers as Hazare’s earlier protests had witnessed participation in large numbers.
Despite a weekend, the crowds were not there today and at around 11 am it was around 300 and rose to around 1,000 two hours later, belying the expectations of organisers who were hoping that a holiday may bring more people to the venue.
This was in stark contrast to earlier Hazare protests when the surge in numbers on weekend were so huge that the venues were jam packed.
The crowd count rose to around 3,500-4,000 yesterday but it was attributed to the supporters of yoga guru Ramdev, who addressed the protesters there.