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Friday, 19 August 2011

Anna ups the ante; says will not end fast till bill is passed

Upping the ante, Anna Hazare on Friday gave a 12 day deadline to the government to pass the jan lokpal bill failing which he will continue his fast "till my last breath". At the same time, Team Anna said that a dialogue with the government is the only way out although they will not compromise on corruption.

Addressing a press conference at Ramlila Grounds where he moved from Tihar Jail on Friday to begin his 15-day protest, Hazare made a surprise announcement that he would not leave the fast venue till the bill is passed.

"I have made the decision of my life. It is up to the government to pass the bill. If the bill is not passed in this (on going) session, then I will continue my fast till my last breath," the 73-year-old Gandhian told reporters at the fast venue.

Replying to questions whether he was shifting the goalpost after agreeing to restrict the fast to a fortnight, Hazare's close associate Arvind Kejriwal said "Anna Hazare will be here."

The Delhi Police Commissioner has agreed that the fast can be extended by a week on four days' notice, he said.

Hazare said "We have permission till September 2 but if by August 30 the bill is not passed then people will be asked to fill jails across the country."

"We are willing to have a discussion with the government with an open mind but there cannot be any compromise on corruption," Hazare aid Prashant Bhushan said.

"....Resolution of problems comes through only negotiations," Kejriwal, another associate said.


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