Anna’s fast against graft enters 6th day

Anna’s fast against graft enters 6th day

New Delhi: Anna Hazare’s fast demanding a strong Lokpal Bill entered the sixth day on Sunday with more and more people pouring into his protest venue, extending support to his campaign.

Hazare came to the podium at around 10 am as supporters started pouring into Ramlila Maidan where he launched his protest on Friday after coming out of Tihar Jail.

After reaching the podium, Hazare “thanked" people for extending whole-hearted support to his campaign against corruption.

“I thank all of you for coming here and supporting the movement," the 73-year-old anti-corruption crusader said in a brief comment.

Earlier on Sunday morning, Hazare and his close associates -- Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Manish Sisodia -- held a meeting. Activist Medha Patkar was also present.

Although government and Team Anna on Saturday spoke of the need for a dialogue on the Lokpal issue, no such channel of communication has yet been opened, according to activists.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said on Saturday that there was “a lot of scope for give and take" and that the government was open to “discussion and dialogue".

Kejriwal had later said Team Anna was also ready for talks but asked “whom should we meet, where should we meet and when should we meet." There were no signs as to which side would take the initiative to break the deadlock.

Pandering to the populist mood at Ramlila Grounds where Hazare is fasting, his associates Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi had also spoken some tough words like “we cannot trust this government", but, at the same time, maintained that the government should come forward and start discussions.

Meanwhile, there was no indication of support for Hazare fizzling out with time as the second consecutive night of the Gandhian’s protest witnessed more crowds than the first.

Scores of protesters stayed back at the spacious grounds throughout the night raising impromptu slogans, majority of which were anti-government and anti-Congress, singing patriotic songs, bhajans, and playing musical instruments like tabla and violin.

More and more people started coming to the protest site in the morning as they raised slogans supporting the Gandhian in his fight against corruption.