Anna meets Kejriwal, asks him to call off fast
Arvind Kejriwal has been on a hunger strike for seven days now, agitating against inflated electricity bills in the capital.
New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare has appealed to Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal to call off his fast. Hazare met his former Team Anna colleague at a Delhi slum on Friday at around 10:50 pm.
This is the first time that both Anna and Kejriwal came on a common platform since they parted ways in September in 2012. Kejriwal had, however, called on Hazare a number of times after the September 19 split. Anna, who had split with Kejriwal on the question of anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge, was on way to Amritsar where he will launch his nation-wide tour on Sunday.
Kejriwal has been on a hunger strike for seven days now, agitating against inflated electricity bills in the capital. The AAP has claimed to have got more than three lakh signatures pledging not to pay inflated bills.
Anna said one or two days more of fasting is okay but not more than that. He said he had asked Kejriwal to break the fast as the struggle is a long one. "I told him we should not kill ourselves. These fasts are bringing awareness among people. People in the whole country have awakened now. In future, we will continue to tolerate till we can and then break the fast and once we regain health we should again stand up to fight. This is not a four-day battle. But a very long war," Anna said addressing the crowd.
He said Kejriwal is not asking for money or administrative position but just asking the government to take note of the trouble that the poor are going through. "If a poor man gets a electricity bill of Rs 3,000-4,000, from where is he going to pay," he said.
Thanking Anna, Kejriwal said he was grateful to the veteran activist for taking time to meet him. The meeting has come as a shot in the arm of Kejriwal as a large number of volunteers have delinked themselves from the movement citing that they want to remain apolitical. Anna was against the anti-corruption movement turning into a political party as planned by Kejriwal.
Kejriwal has been on a fast against Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit and inflated electricity bills in the capital. His health has been deteriorating. On Thursday, doctors had announced that Kejriwal has lost six kilograms so far.
In a statement on Thursday, the Aam Aadmi Party, though said he was stable with all the vital parameters within the normal range. "His blood pressure was 120/74, pulse was 66 and sugar was 106 this morning. The level of ketones has come down from 4+ to 3+, which is a positive indication," it said.
Kejriwal on Thursday alleged both the Congress and the BJP were winning elections through bribing voters and using muscle power. Kejriwal said several people were asking him why there has been no reaction from BJP and Congress on his fast so far. "This is because BJP and Congress are both worried as a different kind of politics is slowly emerging in India. So far they are used to winning on the basis of bribing voters, money power and muscle power but now the voters have awakened. The elections will not be elections but revolution," he told his supporters.
With Additional Inputs from PTI