Anna Hazare begins indefinite fast for Lokpal, calls govt ‘sly’: 10 points

Hazare recently slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre for failing to appoint a Lokpal and fulfilling its promises to farmers

Anna Hazare is back in New Delhi’s Ram Lila Maidan today and is set to go on an indefinite hunger strike against the Narendra Modi government, nearly seven years after his anti-corruption movement caught the imagination of millions of Indians and shook the then ruling Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government. This time, Hazare’s agitation is over not just the Jan Lokpal but also on farmers’ issues. Recently, Hazare slammed Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Centre for failing to appoint a Lokpal and fulfilling its promises to farmers.

Ahead of today’s agitation, Hazare also slammed the central government for its “sly attitude”, claiming it had “cancelled trains carrying protesters to Delhi”.

“This will be a satyagrah for Jan Lokpal, farmers’ issues, and poll reforms. At least 1.2 million (12 lakh) farmers have committed suicide in the past 22 years. I want to know the number of industrialists who committed suicide during this period,” Hazare said. The venue of his protest will be the same iconic Ram Lila Maidan, where he sat on a hunger strike in 2011 demanding that the then Congress-led government set up a Lokpal to investigate cases of corruption.

Hazare has been pressing for setting up of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states, besides the implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, which suggested ways to address the agrarian distress plaguing the country.

Initially, Hazare is set to go to Rajghat on Friday with others. Later, they will reportedly march to Shaheedi Park and from there to Ram Lila Maidan. The day, March 23, has been chosen on purpose as this is the anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev’s hanging to death by the British, said an aide of Hazare’s.

The Delhi Traffic Police has issued an advisory, warning commuters to avoid taking routes towards Aruna Asaf Ali Road, Delhi Gate, Darya Ganj, New Delhi Railway Station, Ajmeri Gate, Paharganj, ITO, Rajghat, Minto Road, Vivekanand Marg, and JLN Marg. Read more

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