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Anna and former army chief launch new offensive

The former army truck driver has joined forces with former army chief General VK Singh, and the demand for a Jan Lokpal has taken a back seat, with dissolution of the Parliament now taking precedence.


Brothers in arms: Anna Hazare and former army chief Gen VK Singh charted their course of action at the Mumbai Press Club yesterday. Pic/Sameer Markande

While speaking at the Mumbai Press Club, yesterday, Hazare declared that before Diwali, he would form a new organisation, which will have a few old faces and many new ones. It will be christened and would even have a new base, which has almost been finalised in Delhi.

War on graft
“People need a platform and we will give them that platform. People, who came out on the streets on August 16, last year, will take to the streets again on January 30, 2013. We will guide the youth and others to elect a new set of parliamentarians, ” said Anna.

Anna announced that starting January 30, he along with Singh, would travel the country and fight against corruption with the demand that the Parliament needs to be dissolved and there should be immediate elections. “I have always been stating and reiterating that the Parliament should be run as per the Constitution. But now its not, and hence I am here. The gap between the poor and the rich has increased and that needs to be minimised. There’s a need that the Parliament be dissolved and the government of the public’s choice be brought in and right to recall be brought in,” said Anna.

“We won’t go inside the Parliament. From January 30, we will roam the country. There is no expectation from anyone. We have both fought against the enemies on the border. Now we have united to fight against homegrown enemies,” Anna said.

Praise for Kejriwal
“If Arvind Kejriwal contests the elections, he will win it. I will surely support him. He’s a man of character and integrity. Arvind’s path and mine may be different, but our main aim is the same, and that’s a corruption-free India,” said Anna.

Speaking about the dissolution of the Parliament, Anna said, “Even the Opposition is silent, and the government, instead of working for the common man, is working for the benefit of corporates. And every one in the Parliament is silent. Mines are used as a guise to hand over jungles to private firms. Natural resources meant for the country, belonging to its people are now handed over to commercial enterprises. MPs have stopped taking up issues like forest conservation. We will support people who are of good character, honest and want to serve the nation to reach the Parliament.”

In the firing line
“There’s a need for investigation against Nitin Gadkari, and even others against whom corruption allegations have been levelled. Instead of a CBI or government investigation, a judicial inquiry should be carried out.” On Gujarat CM Narendra Modi, Anna said, “People sitting in power do have their limitations. Had Modi been clean, he would have passed the Lokayukta bill.” 

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