Lucknow: Team Anna and volunteers of India Against Corruption (IAC) would June 5 kickstart a statewide 'Anna Sandesh Yatra' from Ballia town of eastern Uttar Pradesh to create public awareness about corruption in the country, activists said on Thursday.

The four-phased tour would begin from Ballia, said Sanjay Singh, member of the IANC's National Core Committee.

The first leg, aimed at focussing on the continued cases of graft that are popping up in public domain at the state and national level, would conclude in Lucknow on June 10, he said. It will also highlight the failure of the United Progressive Alliance government to get the Jan Lokpal Bill, endorsed by an all-party proposal moved in the Lok Sabha Aug 27, 2011, passed in parliament, said the IAC official.

The yatra is also going to highlight the number of criminals in the Indian parliament as well as those in the state assemblies also. "Time has come when the people of this country should face these hard and bitter truths and do something to change the mess," Singh added. IAC claims that out of 543 MPs in parliament, 163 are tainted and 16 out of the 34 cabinet ministers in the Manmohan Singh government are corrupt.

The IAC also alleged that 1,170 legislators out of the total 4,200 in the country were facing criminal or corruption charges. "Are these facts not enough to set some sort of course correction rolling," asked an IAC volunteer. Singh further said that it was sad to note that while "corrupt" politicians like DMK's Kanimozhi and former communications minister A. Raja, accused in the 2G spectrum scam, had got bail, politicians like Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad were poking fun at civil society.

IAC's national advisor Gopal Krishna said that people will have to realise that if such people are allowed to come back to power, the nation will continue to suffer scams and corruption will reach unprecedented levels. The IAC also staged a sit-in Thursday, to protest against the assailants who attacked Anna supporters in Nagpur Wednesday.

(Agencies)

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