Determined to get the Lokpal Bill passed, activist Anna Hazarecommenced his fast at 11 am yesterday in his native village Ralegan Siddhi. Hazare prepared himself for the fast by offering flowers to the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and seeking blessings of the saint Yadav Baba. Supporting him in his endeavour, villagers of Ralegan Siddhi organised a rally demanding that the Jan Lokpal Bill be passed.Arrangements have been made for Hazare’s fast. A huge mandap has been set up in front of the Saint Yadav Baba temple. Two different podiums have been built, one for Anna and the other for volunteers and supporters to sit on. A big hoarding of Mahatma Gandhi has been displayed in the backdrop. Also, the entire place has been adorned with Indian flags.
Patriotic songs are being played to encourage people to join Hazare in his mission. Speaking about his fast, Hazare said, “Now the time has come for a ‘Do or die’ movement, in this case for the Jan Lokpal Bill. Till now the government has only made promises that the bill will get passed but it has not happened, and I do not believe their promises anymore. This time I will notend my fast till the bill gets passed and this is the fight of all Indians.”
In the evening, State Revenue Minister, Balasaheb Thorat came and met Anna, and had a private conversation with him. Later, addressing the media, Thorat said, “I have requested Anna to call off his fast as the government will take his demands into consideration and necessary actions will be taken.”
At 6:30 pm, villagers assembled and held a candle march in the village. Datta Avare, Hazare’s personal assistant, told MiS DAY, “Today, the first day has passed very well and Anna’s health is also normal. A team of doctors from Ahmednagar are present and are continuously keeping close watch on Anna’s health. Tomorrow Kiran Bedi will be joining Anna’s agitation and we are hoping that more activists across the country come to support the cause.”