New Delhi: Veteran
activist Anna Hazare's fast-unto-death here gathered steam on its
second day Wednesday as he pressed for a stronger anti-graft Lok Pal
Bill through greater involvement of civil society - a protest he has
dubbed as the second Satyagraha.
"This is democracy and we want people's participation in drafting
the Lok Pal bill," Hazare told reporters at Jantar Mantar in New
Delhi where he has parked himself along with around 5,000
"We want representation from civil society in drafting the Lok Pal
Bill, 50 percent from civil society and 50 percent from the
government," he said. The bill aims to fight corruption in public
According to India Against Corruption, the banner under which the
activists have united to fight corruption, the government has not
approached the fasting activist so far. Hazare, who has sat on the
fast Tuesday, however, said that government will have to bow to the
wish of the people.
"I am not waiting for government, the government will have to bow to
the wish of the people," the 72-year-old crusader said.
Hazare, who has named his fast the second Satyagraha on the lines of
the movement launched by Mahatma Gandhi against the British rulers,
has been joined by thousands of supporters all across the country
and also abroad.
Fasts are being observed and rallies and demonstrations are being
taken out in over 400 cities across the nation.
Hazare, meanwhile, told reporters here that he is doing well and
except for a little weakness, his health is fine.
"The doctor came, he said BP (blood pressure) is fine, I only have a
little weakness," he said, adding in jest: "I will only lose some
weight, can carry it forward for 10 or 12 more days."
The activists are demanding the government adopt the alternative Jan
Lok Pal Bill drafted by leading legal experts and personalities,
including Arvind Kejriwal, former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde
and Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan.
The Jan Lok Pal Bill calls for setting up of ombudsmen - a Lok Pal
and Lokayuktas (in states) - independent of government control. In
the activists' version, investigation in any case will have to be
completed in one year and punishment would be a jail term of minimum
five years and maximum of life imprisonment.
The government's version recommends a prison term of minimum six
months and maximum seven years as punishment for corruption.