Anna Hazare to start indefinite hunger strike today
Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare will here on Friday begin his indefinite fast to bring about a competent Lokpal and ensure better production cost for farm produce.
The Gandhian has been pressing for setting up of the Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states, besides implementation of the Swaminathan Commission report, which has suggested ways to address the agrarian distress.
Hazare had earlier said that he would do satyagraha till life is left in his body, and accused the central government of not allotting space.
The venue of his protest will be the same iconic Ram Lila Maidan, where he had sat on a hunger strike in 2011 demanding constitution of a Lokpal to investigate cases of corruption.
Hazare has turned down last-minute overtures from ministers in Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis's government in Maharashtra to call off his hunger strike.
Maharashtra Irrigation Minister Girish Mahajan had earlier met Hazare to persuade him to give up his fast, but the activist, who has put together a team of around 6,000 people across India for the purpose, indicated that he would go for the fast until Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government came up with a concrete proposal to empower the Lokpal.
He said he would do "satyagraha from jail" if not allotted a space in New Delhi.
Hazare has demanded setting up of Agriculture Price Commission on the lines of the Election Commission and Niti Aayog.
Earlier, 31 apolitical farmer associations from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh participated to set the agenda for the March 23 satyagraha.
Retired Supreme Court judge and former Karnataka Lokayukta N. Santosh Hegde has announced to join the social activist's stir.
The activist had in 2011 anti-corruption campaign and 12-day hunger strike warned that he would resume his fast if an effective law was not instituted to deal with corruption and misgovernance.
The parliament had in the 2011 hunger strike aftermath passed an unprecedented resolution in support of his demands.