Anna to end fast on Sunday

Anna to end fast on Sunday

New Delhi: A self-styled Gandhian activist, whose campaign against corruption united millions of Indians, agreed on Saturday to end his 12-day hunger strike after the government agreed to his demands for tougher laws against rampant graft.

Anna Hazare, 74, told tens of thousands of supporters in New Delhi on Saturday evening, flanked by members of the ruling Congress party, that he would end his hunger strike on Sunday morning.

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Hazare’s agitation has tapped a groundswell of public anger against endemic corruption, uniting the country’s bulging middle-class against the hapless government and underlining voter anger at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Parliament expressed support on Saturday for tougher anti-corruption legislation, the finance minister said, meeting key demands set by Anna Hazare to end his 12-day hunger strike against graft.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee told both chambers of Parliament that there was support for putting forward tougher anti-corruption legislation. There was no vote however, which had been expected.

Team Anna welcomes the passage of the Lokpal resolution, Kiran Bedi said.

“Anna is known to have never broken his fast after sunset. Recall, he did so even in April fast. This is his decision again. He decides," she said.

If he breaks his fast on Sunday at 10 am, he will complete 288 hours of his hunger strike which began on 16 August.

Some of the important points of the Lokpal resolution passed by Parliament are:

• An effective Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states be set up.

• Employees of centre and state governments to be brought under purview of Lokpal and Lokayuktas respectively.

• All government departments to have citizen’s charter with timeline.

(PTI also contributed to this story)