Less than 1,000 people turned up at Ramlila maidan yesterday; speakers addressed an almost empty ground
Recorded music, a handful of supporters waving tricolour flags, and the Delhi police personnel outnumbering the protestors -- this is exactly how the second day of the parallel protest called at Ramlila maidan by Team Anna commenced at 10 am yesterday.
Power cut: Team Anna member Kiran Bedi at the Ramlila maidan
yesterday. pic/Rajeev Tyagi
However, the India Against Corruption (IAC) member Prashant Bhushan dismissed the reports of a poor turnout at their protest venues in Delhi and Mumbai, stressing that peoples' enthusiasm and support for the movement hasn't vanished.
"The turnout at the ground is not as low as some people think. About 8,000 supporters had gathered at Ramlila Maidan by afternoon," said Prashant Bhushan, addressing the media at the maidan.
However, Bhushan admitted that the turnout was low in comparison to August, when Anna Hazare's fast lasted for 12 days. However, according to the cops deployed at the maidan, the crowd was not more than 1,000-strong.
Addressing the gathering at the maidan, senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan lambasted the bill that was passed in the Parliament. "The bill passed on Tuesday is lame and weak." He even stated that the absence of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and Samajwadi Party (SP) MPs was a 'tactic' played by the ruling Congress party to allow smooth passage of a weak Lokpal bill.
While Prashant Bhushan said there was no point in giving a constitutional status to a 'useless' Lokpal.