Anna Hazare to launch another fast for strong Lokpal Bill

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare yesterday announced that he will go on yet another hunger strike from 10 December for a strong Lokpal bill to create a central graft watchdog.

This time – perhaps due to the muted response from a jaded public – he will undertake the fast at the Yadavbaba temple in his home village of Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra.

Announcing his agitation, Hazare asked the union government to ''show courage'' by introducing the Lokpal bill in the winter session of Parliament, beginning 5 December.

Hazare had earlier written a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh expressing his grievance that the central government had failed to bring in the anti-graft legislation so far, despite the public outcry that he helped to raise.

He said the government had been dragging its feet on passing the bill in the Rajya Sabha for last one year because it lacked ''political will''.

In his reply to Hazare's letter, Parliamentary affairs minister V Narayanasamy mentioned various steps taken by the government to bring in the Bill. Hazare said he had received Narayanasamy's letter on Tuesday, but remained disappointed.

''The correspondence has been going on for the last two years, but without any result,'' he told newspersons.

 ''The nation wants results and not reasons, and that is why I will be going on a hunger strike,'' the 77-year-old Hazare said.

He also appealed to people to exert pressure on government through non-violent ways for the passage of the bill.

The government version of Hazare's  Lokpal bill passed through the Lok Sabha earlier this year, but has been held up by the upper house.

Hazare is not satisfied with the bill passed by the Lok Sabha, as it ignores many of his key recommendations.