Anna Hazare fasts demanding strong lokpal, again

Monday, 12 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Reuters: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, who rocked the government with street protests in the summer, went on a day-long hunger strike on Sunday and warned of more to come if his demand for a tough law on graft is not quickly met.

Dressed in a crisp white kurta smock and cap, the bespectacled Gandhian campaigner Hazare said “Hail Mother India” as he arrived at the Jantar Mantar observatory, a traditional meeting point for political dissenters in Delhi.

The turnout at Sunday’s protest is seen as a barometer of support for the 74-year-old, who threatens to campaign against the already troubled government in elections in Uttar Pradesh early next year.

In August, Hazare stopped eating for 13 days, drawing the backing of millions of Indians and forcing the government to agree to create a tough new ombudsman to investigate graft in public office.

But Hazare’s image has been tarnished by accusations of financial misdeeds among his top aides, which they deny.

Hundreds of people with the Indian flag in hand and wearing “I am Anna” caps, sang patriotic songs as Hazare reached the venue of the strike on Sunday after praying at independence hero Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial.

“Our government takes our money through taxes, through bribes and uses that again to buy votes. How can my grandchildren later say that they are proud to be Indians?” said 56-year-old H.S. Kapoor at the protest site.