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Anna to send 34 'Jan Lokpal missionaries' across nation

As social activist Anna Hazare waits for the government to meet his demand for the passage of the Jan Lokpal bill in the Winter Session of Parliament, he is also working towards spreading awareness in the country on the proposed legislation that will arm an ombudsman with extensive powers to check corruption.




For the people: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare; K D Pawar
(standing), city president of Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan Trust,
is among those selected to spread awareness on the Jan Lokpal bill.
Pic/Vivek Sabnis


On Sunday, Hazare decided that all the 34 district heads working for his Bhrashtachar Virodhi Jan Aandolan Trust (BVJAT) should go to all the states in the country to create awareness on the importance of the Jan Lokpal bill and explain to the public why it is imperative that Parliament pass it during the Winter Session.

At a two-day annual convention in Hazare's village Ralegansiddhi that had all senior representatives from BVJAT in attendance, the activist decided it was time to nominate his people to spread the word on the strong version of the bill that he wants passed.

Over 150 representatives from 34 districts in the state were present at the convention. The meeting also discussed the BVJAT strategy to support clean candidates in forthcoming elections. Hazare reportedly admitted that he still had doubts whether the Jan Lokpal bill would be approved in the Winter Session.

"Anna's main concern is to get the Jan Lokpal bill passed in Parliament," said K D Pawar, city president of BVJAT, who attended the meeting. "Hazare recently visited five states in the country to get the pulse of the people and know what they feel about the Jan Lokpal bill. Now he wants us to go and create awareness in all the states in our country."

Booklet on bill
Hazare has prepared a booklet on the Jan Lokpal bill detailing its intention and scope in Marathi, and is planning to translate it into Hindi for all citizens. "There will not be any need to go to these states if the government passes the Jan Lokpal bill in the Winter Session," said Pawar.

BVJAT coordinator Shankar Tadakhe said Hazare was skeptical about the Jan Lokpal bill getting approved. "The first RTI bill was approved in 2000 but was opposed by Hazare himself because it did not cover his demands. If the same thing happens with Jan Lokpal Bill, he may even restart his nationwide agitation," he said.

The missionaries
A first list of 17 people from Anna Hazare's trust who will be visiting 22 states to build support for the Jan Lokpal bill has been made. These people from various places are:
Advocate Ajit Deshmukh (Beed), Uddhav Bobade (Usmanabad), Vikas More (Parabhani), Suresh Durve (Gondia), Chandrashekhar Bandage (Gadchiroli), Anil Thamre (Amrawati), Gajanan Harne (Akola), Jaiprakash Khot (Buldhana), Sudhir Deshmukh (Latur), Gopalrao Bele (Nagpur), Ashok
Sappan (Ahmadnagar), Bhavesh Patel (Mumbai), K D Pawar (Pune City), Radheshyam Jagtap (Pune District), Narayan Powar (Solapur), Ramrao Gorde (Aurangabad) and Bhagwan Phirange (Jalna).

Anna to poll candidates: Don't use my name
ANNA Hazare on Monday officially declared at Ralegansiddhi that nobody should use his name while campaigning for elections. "Those who want to contest an election should contest on their own responsibility. I shall raise my voice against it if somebody is misusing my name for his or her campaign," Hazare said.

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