Hazare writes to PM, threatens fresh stir over Lokpal Bill
13 September 2013
Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has shot off a fresh missive to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accusing the government of "betraying" the people on Lokpal Bill issue, and threatening to start another hunger strike before the winter session of parliament if immediate action is not taken for the passage of the anti-corruption bill.
Hazare in his letter has demanded that the prime minister urge President Pranab Mukherjee to convene a special session of parliament to pass the bill if his government wants to avoid the "blot" of turning back on its promises.
He accused the United Progressive Alliance government of "betraying" the trust of 1.2 billion Indians and said he would begin a fast at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi before the winter session to demand its passage.
"I broke my fast (in December 2011) believing in your assurance that your government would pass the bill before the then winter session. One session after another has come and gone and now another winter session is before us. The bill has not been passed yet," Hazare, whose earlier fast had stirred the public and shaken the government, wrote.
"Had I been aware that your government would betray the country's 1.20 billion people, I would never have broken my fast," he told the prime minister. ''It is clear that the UPA does not intend to table the bill in Parliament. It got so many bills, including the Land Acquisition, Food Security and Pension Bills, passed but not the Lokpal Bill," he said.
After being passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2011 the bill was referred to a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, which is yet to submit its report.
"After being passed in the Lok Sabha, the bill has been pending in Rajya Sabha for close to two years. The only conclusion I can draw is that the delay is deliberate on the part of your government," Hazare said.
He said he would go before people again and made an appeal that they should start an agitation similar to the one they did when he went on an indefinite fast on 16 August 2011.
The subsequent popular agitation had forced the government to convene a special meet of Parliament, which passed a resolution agreeing with three of his crucial demands.
Some of Hazare's key aides at the time, including Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan, have split from him to form a political party as the veteran activist remains apolitical.