Lokpal Bill: Hazare's struggle unnerves UPA government

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare, who is leading a mass struggle against corruption in the government, today said he would continue with his fast-unto-death, making the going tough for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who is already battling a slew of corruption charges against his government.

Anna HazareHazare said he will continue with his fast-unto-death till the government agrees to give equal representation to the common man in the drafting of the anti-corruption bill, which, he said, must not be drafted only by politicians and the government.

The 72-year-old Hazare, known as the "modern day Mahatma' is into the second-day of his fast-unto-death at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi demanding 50 per cent representation for the public in the committee to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill.

This had some effect on the UPA government, which is already under pressure to enact the Lokpal Bill, with agriculture minister Sharad Pawar expressing his willingness to step down from the group of ministers (GoM), which is looking into the issue.

"I will be happy if I am relieved from various GoMs, including this GoM," Pawar said.

The Lokpal Bill, which is intended to check corruption by public servants, has been in cold storage 42 years since the government first showed some initiative to create such a law.