Veteran activist Anna Hazare launched an indefinite hunger strike in his village here to press for the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill by parliament. In the chilly 6 degrees celsius temperature sweeping Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district, Hazare went on his usual morning walk and then started his hunger strike near the Yadavbaba temple in the village, under the banner of his new organisation, Jantantra Morcha.
The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the Citizen's Ombudsman Bill, is an anti-corruption legislation drafted by civil society activists, seeking appointment of an independent panel to investigate cases of corruption.
"We have been promised repeatedly that the bill will be passed. But it is more than a year and it has not been passed. The Congress cheated the people," Hazare said Monday, on the eve of his latest round of agitation for the legislation.
The 76-year-old former army driver-turned-social activist demanded that the bill must come up in the current winter session of parliament, and said until it is passed he would continue his hunger strike -- fifth so far on the same issue.
Accusing the Congress of taking the people for a ride, Hazare warned that if it continues to dilly-dally further, the electorate will again vent its anger against the ruling party at the centre in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections -- a reference to the outcome of the assembly election results in four states Sunday.
The Congress was routed in Delhi and Rajasthan while it failed to wrest control of Madhya Pradesh from the BJP. In Chhattisgarh it failed to gain power in a closely contested election. In Mizoram, however, the Congress won a landslide victory. Activists and volunteers are expected to sit in similar token fasts in other cities like Mumbai, Nagpur, Pune and in other states in solidarity with Hazare.