New Delhi: Under the leadership of social activist Anna Hazare, the crusade against corruption on Monday gained momentum and people adopted the Gandhian approach to support the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Bypassing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s appeal, 72-year-old Hazare along with social activist Agnivesh, former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, Magsaysay award winner Sandeep Pandey, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, and 35 other supporters sat on a fast unto death at Jantar Mantar in the national capital.

Demanding the enactment of Jan Lokpal Bill, Hazare had made it clear from the beginning that he would not let any political party take mileage of the situation. Apart from his home town Maharashtra, people supported his move in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal, etc and declared hunger strike.

Observing the fight against corruption reaching crescendo, opposition parties too joined the same bandwagon. Hazare, however, had demanded the support of the political parties but also clarified that the movement is for common man’s cause, which would not be linked with any party.

NDA convenor Sharad Yadav, who reached the venue to show his solidarity, had to return after he faced stern opposition from the supporters of Anna Hazare. BJP MP Maneka Gandhi too went back owing to the protest from the supporters. Few MPs from Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) reached the spot but had to meet the same fate.

The veteran social activist began his hunger strike after paying tributes to Mahatama Gandhi at Rajghat and he proceeded to India Gate marching towards Jantar Mantar.

According to supporters, unless the government bows down, Hazare will continue the fight. Following Hazare’s appeal, citizens of metropolitan cities joined the hunger strike and showed their solidarity at respective regions.
Hazare said, “I do not want the medicine for the pain, but I want to remove the cancer completely which only the Jan Lokpal Bill can do.”

JPN/Bureau