Anna Hazare’s supporters carry the national flag during a rally against corruption in Mumbai. Reuters photo
New Delhi: There were growing signs of differences within the Anna Hazare camp over the continuance of activist’s fast with Justice Santosh Hegde on Friday joining another associate, Swami Agnivesh, in saying that the hunger strike should be called off now.
Hegde, also member of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal bill, strongly disapproved of Hazare’s insistence on “having his way” in Parliament, saying “I feel I am not in Team Anna any more by the way things are going. These (telling Parliament what to do) are not democratic things.”
Asking Hazare to call off his fast that entered the 11th day on Friday, Agnivesh also made it clear that any appearance of threats to Parliament is not becoming of a Gandhian.
“This is some sort of...seen as a threat to Parliament ‘you do it by tomorrow or day after’. This is not becoming of a Gandhian fast or a moment.. So this was the right moment to call it off,” Agnivesh said.
Meanwhile, Prashan Bhushan, a member of Team Anna, said the activist would call of his fast the moment Parliament passes a resolution containing three of his demands or at least table the Janlokpal Bill.
Bhushan, a lawyer himself, said the resolution approving the three demands of civil society--lower bureaucracy to be brought in the ambit of Lokpal, creation of Lokpal in all the states through a legislation and approval of citizens charter--has to be brought by the government formally.
He said earlier Hazare had said at least table the Janlokpal Bill. “Now now he has said if you can’t table the alright, at least pass a resolution on these three issues which affects the common people of the country, then I can call off the fast while maintaining the right to continue the strike on the issue.”
Vinod Mehta, editor-in-chief of Outlook Magazine, also attacked the “a coterie” within Team Anna, accusing them of “playing with the life” of the Gandhian to press absurd demands.
“I condemn this dangerous game they are playing in the name of people’s power. All right thinking people should speak up against the coterie which is leading Anna Hazare and the nation to collision course,” he said.