'I will greet PM with a red rose if Lokpal Bill is passed'

Hazare wants lower bureaucracy and the CBI to be brought under Lokpal ambit, says he will begin hunger strike and jail bharo agitation on scheduled dates

Before embarking on an indefinite fast from December 27 for an effective Lokpal Bill, anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare decided to return to Ralegansiddhi and complete some pending work before he returns to Delhi in a few days. 

Indomitable: Anna Hazare says he is optimistic about the passage of a 
strong Lokpal Bill. File pic 

The Gandhian, who landed at Lohegaon Airport at 2 pm from Chennai yesterday, said, "I have made a few changes in my programme. Since the cabinet has brought forward the plan to discuss the Bill from yesterday to today, I decided to return to Ralegansiddhi and complete some work before leaving to Delhi in the next two-three days." 

Hazare, however, emphasised that there is no change in the agitation. "The hunger strike will begin from December 27 at the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi and the nationwide jail bharo agitation will begin from January 1," he said. He, however, added that he was still optimistic about the introduction of an effective Lokpal Bill in Parliament. 

"I will greet our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh with a red rose, a symbol of love and respect, and invite him to Ramlila Maidan on January 29 if the Lokpal Bill is passed and lower bureaucracy and the CBI is brought under its ambit," Anna said.  

Social activist from Wardha, Abhay Bang,   said, "The Parliament is taking the citizens for granted by not approving the Lokpal Bill." Anup Avasthi, an RTI activist working for India Against Corruption (IAC) and Pune Nagrik Sanghatana (PNS), said that Hazare should adopt a wait and watch strategy. He should take a look at the final draft of the Bill before starting his agitation. 

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