New Delhi: Hailing the Parliament's nod on key elements of Jan Lokpal Bill as "people's victory", Anna Hazare today broke his 12-day-old fast declaring that electoral reforms will be on top of his agenda next so that corruption can come down. The 74-year-old Gandhian accepted a glass of tender coconut water mixed with honey from a Dalit and a Muslim girl -- Simran and Ikrah -- at 10:20 AM on the dais at the Ramlila Grounds ending over 288 hours of fast that began on August 16. Chronology of an epochal fast (JPN/Agencies)
After a brief address, Hazare was driven straight to Medanta Medicity in neighbouring Gurgaon run by eminent cardiologist Dr Naresh Trehan who was attending to him along with his team during his entire period of fast.
"I have only deferred my fast, not given it up. Only when these reforms are complete will I really end my fast. I will not rest until all the changes that I look to are achieved," he said to a thunderous applause from thousands of his supporters waving tricolour and shouting slogans like 'Anna Hazare Zindabad'.
Dismissing the charge that his campaign was against the Parliament and Constitution, he said the change has to be through constitutional means.
Flanked by his team members, including Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia, Hazare said what has been achieved in the Parliament on Saturday is a victory of the people of India, democracy and those assembled in Ramlila Ground.
Team Anna hoped that the Government will convene a special session of the Parliament to pass the Lokpal Bill in a month's time. Minutes after Hazare ended his fast, Bhushan said: "We hope that the government convenes a special session of the Parliament within a month's time to pass Lokpal Bill."
Hazare said his fight would now be for Right to Recall and Right to Reject as part of electoral reforms so that corruption can be reduced.
"While Right to Recall would be for those elected, the Right to Reject will be a column in the ballot paper which would ensure the voter has a right to say that he does not like the listed candidates.
"We have to reform electoral system. (we need) Right to Reject. You should be able to reject your candidate in the ballot paper. We have to do that."
"If the majority in a constituency says that they reject a candidate, even then the election should be cancelled. How much money they (candidates) will distribute? Once the candidate spends Rs 10 crore for one election and if the election is cancelled, then right sense will dawn upon them," he said.
Maintaining that people's parliament is bigger than the ‘Parliament in Delhi’, Hazare said that is why the Parliament had to listen to people's parliament.
"This movement has created a faith that the country can be rid of corruption and we can go ahead with implementing laws and the Constitution made by Dr B R Ambedkar," he said.
Referring to the Parliament's decision to refer three of his demands -- citizen's charter, inclusion of lower bureaucracy and creation of Lokayuktas through Lokpal bill -- for Standing Committee's consideration, he said, the country can be proud of this moment. Thirteen days of agitation has yielded fruits.
Outlining his future agenda, Hazare chose reforms in election and education systems and working for the betterment of farmers and labourers.
He said they will have to think about farmers' problems as well as the woes of labourers and fight for them relentlessly.
Hazare said the fight for change should also focus on issues like protecting environment because the country may run out of fossil fuels like coal and petrol and those in power do not have the capacity to think of the future.
"We have to think over these things in the fight for change. We should not keep quiet even if the whole of Jan Lokpal Bill is passed," he said.
Hazare admitted in hospital for check-up
Anna Hazare was on Sunday admitted in Medanta Medicity hospital here for a check-up soon after he ended his 12-day fast on the Lokpal issue and doctors said he will be under strict observation though there was no reason for worry.
"He has been admitted. He is resting. His blood pressure is 110/70 and pulse rate is 94. We are closely monitoring his condition because he has lost 7.5 kgs in a very short interval of time and in his age," Dr Naresh Trehan, chairperson and managing director of the hospital, said.
However, he said, "There is no need to worry as all vital organs are settled. We have put him on liquid diet for at least 48 hours that includes coconut water and honey.
"We will also conduct tests of his kidneys, liver and other vital organs to check for any damage," Trehan said, adding the 74-year-old will be discharged only after his condition is fit.
Throughout his fast at Ramlila Maidan, a team of doctors led by cardiologist Trehan had been monitoring his health.
Team Anna wants special session for Lokpal
Team Anna today hoped that the government will convene a special session of the Parliament to pass the Lokpal Bill in a month's time.
Team member and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the government has told them that it would include all the three issues in the Bill and send it to the Standing Committee concerned.
"We hope that the government convenes a special session of the Parliament within a month's time to pass Lokpal Bill," he said in Ramlila Maidan, minutes after Anna Hazare ended his fast.
"By that time, we hope that the Standing Committee also completes its work so that the Bill can be passed," the Supreme Court lawyer said.
Asked about their stand on their government version of Lokpal Bill, Bhushan said there is no point in demanding its withdrawal now as the Parliament has agreed in-principle on three issues raised by the Team Anna.
Following is the chronology of a fast that forced Indian Parliament to acknowledge people's power and established Civil Society's primacy in a democracy.
Jan 30: Marches in over 60 cities to demand anti-corruption Lokpal bill. Social reformer Anna Hazare, former top cop Kiran Bedi, activist Swami Agnivesh and lawyer Prashant Bhushan participate in Delhi rally.
Feb 26: Hazare announces fast unto death from April 5 if Prime Minister Manmohan Singh does not decide on civil society's inclusion in drafting the bill.
April 5: Hazare starts fast at Delhi's Jantar Mantar.
April 8: Hazare announces decision to end fast as government agrees to form 10-member panel of Civil Society members and union ministers to draft a stringent anti-corruption law.
April 9: Hazare ends fast.
April 16: Joint committee's first meet cordial. Both sides exchange drafts.
May 2: Second meet with 'no difference of opinion'.
May 7: Agreement on independent Lokpal with powers to initiate investigation and prosecution.
May 23: Agreement on empowering Lokpal to order list of movable and immovable assets of accused in corruption cases when sufficient evidence found to book them.
May 30: Differences appear as government disagrees on including prime minister, Supreme and High Court judges and MPs' conduct in parliament within Lokpal's ambit.
June 6: Civil society members boycott meet a day after police crackdown against yoga guru Baba Ramdev's fast in Delhi's Ramlila Maidan.
June 15: No consensus on inclusion of prime minister, Supreme and High Court judges.
June 20: Some ice melts amid war of words; government calls it 'major step forward'.
June 21: Last meeting of joint committee ends on sour note. Both sides exchange drafts; Hazare warns of another fast.
Aug 15: Hazare denied permission to fast at Delhi's Jayaprakash Narayan Memorial Park after Team Anna agrees to accept only 16 of police's 22 conditions.
Aug 16: Hazare begins fast, detained early morning and sent to seven-day judicial custody to Tihar jail. Government decides to set him free late night. He refuses.
Aug 17: Hazare refuses to leave Tihar Jail till a solution is reached on fast venue. Supporters gather outside prison, Hazare continues fast from jail. Permitted to fast at Ramlila Maidan.
Aug 19: Hazare leaves Tihar Jail, continues fast at Ramlila Maidan.
Aug 23: Government invites Team Anna for talks.
Aug 24: Second round of talks, all-party meeting held. No breakthrough in impasse.
Aug 25: After meetings with political parties and Team Anna, government agrees to debate all versions of Lokpal bill in Parliament.
Aug 27: Both houses of Parliament debate Lokpal bill, adjourn after adopting 'sense of the house' and agreeing to Hazare's three demands that will be sent to standing committee on Lokpal bill.
Aug 28: Anna breaks fast on 13th day.
New Delhi: Hailing the Parliament's nod on key elements of Jan Lokpal Bill as "people's victory", Anna Hazare today broke his 12-day-old fast declaring that electoral reforms will be on top of his agenda next so that corruption can come down.
The 74-year-old Gandhian accepted a glass of tender coconut water mixed with honey from a Dalit and a Muslim girl -- Simran and Ikrah -- at 10:20 AM on the dais at the Ramlila Grounds ending over 288 hours of fast that began on August 16.
Chronology of an epochal fast