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Anna writes to PM, threatens of fast

The activist says the government is confusing people on the issue of Lokpal

Anna Hazare continues to observe a vow of silence in Ralegan Siddhi since October 16. But that doesn't stop him from writing letters, which are likely to give some people in the government sleepless nights. The 74-year-old activist has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh saying he will go on another hunger strike if a strong Lokpal bill was not passed in the winter session of Parliament from November 22.



"I had adjourned my fast and agitation due to your assurance," Hazare said in his letter to the prime minister.
"If a strong Lokpal bill is not passed in the winter session, I will start that agitation from the last day of (the) winter session," Hazare wrote in his letter.

Cold comfort!
The winter session of parliament will begin on November 22 and conclude on December 21. Hazare raised his concern on recent reactions by responsible people in government and Congress, saying that these remarks create doubts about the passage of the bill. Hazare reminded the prime minister that he called off his hunger strike only after a written assurance from the latter, which was conveyed to him by Union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. "If an effective Jan Lokpal Bill is in place, it would help the country get rid of corruption and also help utilise more funds towards development work," he said in the letter.

Hazare also said his team will also travel to various states to educate people about the need for a strong Jan Lokpal Bill when he resumes his fast. Reacting on the issue Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, "Anna and his associates have made similar statements repeatedly and frequently.

Before campaigning against Congress in Hisar also, they had said that they would compel the government to bring Lokpal bill... I do not know why they are making such statements when there is no need to compel the government for it." She added that a number of Cabinet ministers including the prime minister had said that the government wanted a powerful Lokpal bill. "Standing Committee is holding extra sittings for speeding up the work. There is no indication that there will be any delay in bringing the bill. So, I fail to understand what is the reason for their issuing warnings frequently," Soni said.

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