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A bigger battle is waiting: Anna Hazare


Updated: April 9, 2011, 7:01 PM IST
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A bigger battle is waiting: Anna Hazare
The proposed Lokpal will act as a deterrent for the corrupt and put a big break on the menace.

New Delhi: After successfully leading the agitation on Lokpal Bill, Gandhian Anna Hazare on Saturday struck a note of caution,expressing apprehension over parliamentarians' readiness to pass a strong anti-corruption legislation and asked his supporters to be prepared for a "bigger battle".

Addressing the media, the 73-year-old social activist said power-hungry politicians will not easily accept any bill having stringent provisions against corruption or shed the power they enjoy.

"But on this issue, people will get together," he said adding, MPs and MLAs were being elected to serve the people and not to be their masters. "But they (elected representatives) have forgotten this."

Hazare, who has set August 15 as the deadline for passage of the bill, said, "I feel there will be need for a bigger agitation in future (to get the bill passed in Parliament)."

"I don't think they (MPs) will easily accede to the passage of the bill as they feel it will cut down their powers."

He said there is no fear among those who indulge in corruption. The proposed Lokpal will act a deterrent for the corrupt and put a "big break" on the menace, Hazare felt.

Agencies like the CBI, the CVC and others are under government control and so they cannot fight corruption effectively, he said adding, when the Lokpal Bill comes into effect, the authority will have autonomy and no one will be able to put a spoke in its functioning.

Replying to a question, he dismissed the possibility of misuse of the proposed law for political purposes.

Admitting that he did not expect the groundswell of support for his campaign witnessed in the last five days, he said people joined him in such large numbers as they were fed up with corruption. "They have had enough of it."

Asked if he has come out as a "national hero" to the youth like Mahatma Gandhi, Hazare said, "I am not worthy of even sitting at Gandhiji's feet. But he has influenced my thought process."

Asked about criticism that the mode of his protest amounted to "blackmailing" the government, Hazare said he had to go on a fast as the government did not respond to his letters on the issue of Lokpal Bill.

He said the movement was for public good and not personal gain. Hunger strike is a democratic mode of protest, Hazare said.

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