Ralegan Siddhi: Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare was accorded a hero's welcome when he arrived at his village here in Maharashtra's Ahmednagar district with supporters staying awake till late in the night to receive him.

After landing in Pune on Wednesday night, Hazare was straightway driven to the village and reached there at around 1.30 am, sources said.

Upbeat villagers stayed awake till late in the night to welcome the 74-year-old Gandhian, who is likely to participate in the ten-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations, they said.

The anti-graft crusader, who was admitted to a Gurgaon-based hospital on Sunday after he broke his 12-day fast for stronger Lokpal Bill, was discharged on Wednesday evening.

Hazare is credited with initiating the concept of "one village, one Ganpati" a few years ago.

Hazare's personal assistant Suresh Pathare had said on Wednesday that the activist would be taking rest and would address villagers on Friday.

"We have arranged for a 'mahasabha' on Friday, we have informed him about that. He will not come out on Thursday and we will not request either. So, all the programmes will take place on Friday now," a villager said.

Hazare's associate Shyam Asawa had said that the Gandhian had spoken to villagers over phone and asked them not to arrange any lavish reception for him.

(Agencies)