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Anna Hazare launches fresh hunger strike for Lokpal, Lokayuktas


IANS Ahmednagar (Maharashtra)
Posing fresh complications for the government, veteran Gandhian activist Kisan Baburao Hazare alias Anna Hazare on Wednesday launched a fresh indefinite hunger strike at his Ralegan-Siddhi village seeking a Lokpal and Lokayuktas as promised by the Centre and the states.
An aide said that carrying the Tricolour, Hazare, 81, went around in a procession in the village with a large number of supporters and waved the national flag before starting the indefinite fast under the banner of 'Jan Andolan Satyagraha'.
He also paid homage to Mahatma Gandhi on the occasion of Martyrs' Day on January 30 and prayed at a local temple before launching the agitation on three main points - Lokpal appointment at the Centre, Lokayuktas in each state and farmers issues.
Three days ago, Hazare had served an ultimatum to the Maharashtra government demanding the appointment of a Lokayukta in the state failing which he would launch his hunger strike.
Speaking to mediapersons here this afternoon, Hazare claimed that in the past five years, he has written as many as 35 letters to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to implement the Lokpal authority but his communications were not acknowledged.
"The Lokpal has only to be appointed at the Centre and the Lokayuktas in the state, as per the law. But it is not being implemented despite all promises," Hazare asserted.
Referring to the Maharashtra government initiating the process to bring the office of the Chief Minister under the jurisdiction of the Lokayukta, Hazare demanded that it should include the incumbent CM also and not just the past chief ministers as proposed.
Besides this main demand, Hazare has also taken up the farmers causes who he alleged are "being ignored by the government" leading to unending incidents of suicides all over the country.
On this, Hazare said merely partial loan waivers will not resolve the problems of farmers and demanded that the government must clear all farm debts at one go.
Besides, he sought full implementation of the M.S. Swaminathan Commission Report, giving pension to all farmers above the age of 60, implementing a minimum support price for farm produce, health and medical benefits and other things to provide long term relief to the farming community.
Pointing out that 80 per cent of Hazare's demands have already been met, Minister for Water Resources Girish Mahajan said he is "in contact with Hazare since the past one week" and called upon him to withdraw his hunger strike and resolve the issues through negotiations.
Hazare countered that despite holding talks with the government four times, none of the issues have been solved and vowed to continue his agitation till his demands became a reality.

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First Published: Jan 30 2019 | 7:02 PM IST

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