The government has offered Anna Hazare and his team an alternate location for his fast — The Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi.
On 28 July, 2011 the Union cabinet approved a draft Lokpal Bill, which keeps the Prime Minister, judiciary and lower bureaucracy out of the ambit of the Lokpal.
This version is significantly different from the version of the bill suggested by civil society activists led by Anna Hazare. Team Anna rejected the government version by describing it as a “cruel joke’’ and wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, telling him his decision to go on an indefinite fast from August 16, 2011 at Jantar Mantar if the government introduced its own version of the bill in Parliament without taking suggestions from civil society members.
On 16 August , Anna began his fast as declared before. However the government did not allow Anna to hold the peaceful assembly of people in JP Maidan in Delhi and arrested Anna and his associates Kiran Bedi and Shanti Bhushan along with hundreds of supporters all over India.
The government cited threat to law and order for imposing section 144 in JP Maidan and arresting Anna Hazare. While the civil society took to streets in vehement protests against government's step, the media has been critical of the Prime Minister.
Making up for the goof-up and gauging the popular anger, the government ordered Anna's release on the evening of 16 August. Anna, however refused to leave the jail unless he got permission to fast.
Today the government offered to allow Anna to fast in Ramlila grounds. However Team Anna was adamant on fasting in JP Maidan. A solution has however been reached after Team Anna has agreed to accept Ramlila Maidan as the venue for Anna's fast if the government agrees to their demand of fasting their for at least a month.
Ramlila Maidan was also the venue of the fast by Baba Ramdev earlier this year.
Updated Date: Aug 22, 2011 10:30:42 IST