Anna Hazare ends hunger strike after meeting Devendra Fadnavis; Centre agrees to act on Lokpal, farmer woes

On the seventh day of his sit-in protest in New Delhi, social activist Anna Hazare ended his hunger strike after the Centre promised to act on his demands on Thursday.

Hazare's decision came after he held talks with Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis and Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat.

BJP national executive member Priti Gandhi tweeted visuals of Hazare breaking his fast:

"The Centre has decided to raise MSP by 1.5 times of the expenses incurred by farmers. It has also said it will soon decide on the Lokpal appointment," Hazare said.

"I will wait for six months. If the government fails to act, then we'll start this protest again," he said.

Hazare stressed the Centre should fulfil the promises on time. "It's government's duty to work towards the welfare of the public and the country. There should be no chance of such a movement," he said.

Hazare has been pressing for setting up Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states, besides implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, which suggested ways to address  agrarian distress.

He started an indefinite hunger strike on 23 March to press for his demand to appoint a Lokpal at the Centre, nearly seven years after his anti-corruption movement caught the imagination of millions of Indians and shook the then UPA government. He sat on hunger strike at the iconic Ramlila Maidan, the same venue of his protest in 2011.

The Centre reached out to Hazare on Monday with its emissary and Maharashtra minister Girish Mahajan, who assured most of his demands "will be taken care of".

Mahajan, who is Minister for Water Resources and Medical Education in Maharashtra, said that 7 to 8 of the 11 main demands put forth by Hazare were agreed upon.

"Fadnavis is in the loop. Even the central leadership (of the BJP), including party president Amit Shah, is looking into the matter," Mahajan said.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Mar 29, 2018 19:01:06 IST

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