NEW DELHI: There were growing signs of differences within the Anna Hazare camp over the continuance of Gandhian’s fast with Justice Santosh Hegde on Friday joining another associate, Agnivesh, in saying that the hunger strike should be called off now.
Hegde, also member of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, strongly disapproved of Hazare’s insistence on “having his way” in Parliament, saying “I feel I am not in Team Anna any more by the way things are going. These (telling Parliament what to do) are not democratic things.”
Asking Hazare to call off his fast that entered the 11th day on Friday, Agnivesh also made it clear that any appearance of threats to Parliament is not becoming of a Gandhian.
“This is some sort of…seen as a threat to Parliament ‘you do it by tomorrow or day after’. This is not becoming of a Gandhian fast or a moment.. So this was the right moment to call it off,” Agnivesh said.
“I condemn this dangerous game they are playing in the name of people’s power. All right thinking people should speak up against the coterie which is leading Anna Hazare and the nation to collision course,” he said.
Appealing to Hazare to end his fast in view of government’s decision to discuss Jan Lokpal in Parliament, former Chief Justice of India J S Verma said continuation of Gandhian’s fast may not appear “reasonable”.
“In my view, there is no justification at least now for the continuance of the fast undertaken by Hazare and I appeal to him to end his fast forthwith in keeping with the national sentiments and concern for his health.”
Verma had earlier written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking him to discuss the drafts already prepared by sections of civil society and in the public domain, including those by the Team Anna and the Aruna Roy team as the first step to end the imbroglio.
Actress and social activist Shabana Azmi has also asked Anna to end his fast, saying that insisting on the Jan Lokpal Bill was not right.
“Anna’s call against corruption has taken the shape of a movement and he has made a point, but insisting on Jan Lokpal Bill is not right as the supremacy of Parliament in a democracy cannot be challenged,” she said. – PTI, New Delhi, August 27, 2011
Agnivesh not with Hazare anymore?
The RSS has apparently issued a whip to the BJP to extend all possible support to social activist Anna Hazare. The signals from the Sangh headquarters at Nagpur came on Wednesday, when the BJP took an anti-line and criticised Mr Hazare’s call to picket outside homes of the MPs.
However, in a startling revelation, a member of Team Anna, Swami Agnivesh told this newspaper, that while moving out from Tihar Jail, it was decided and Delhi police were also informed that ‘Anna would neither fast unto death nor would do an indefinite fast’.
He said that ‘these people (Mr Kejriwal, Ms Bedi and Mr Bhushans) think, the movement will fizzle out if Anna breaks his fast’.
During the last two days, Swami Agnivesh stayed away from Ramlila Maidan, as he was ‘deeply hurt by Team Anna’s behaviour. Criticising demonstrations in front of the residences of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi and MPs, Swami felt that this could ‘turn violent anytime’.
Meanwhile, it was learnt that the RSS told the BJP leadership that it should ‘back Anna Hazare, both inside and outside Parliament’. A signal has also been sent across the country to swayamsevaks to move towards Delhi in support of Anna Hazare, sources said.
Speaking in Indore, the RSS sarkaryavah, Suresh Joshi went on record saying, ‘the government must not repress the Anna Hazare’s anti corruption campaign’.
He also made it clear that the ‘RSS supports anti-graft campaign by Anna’. In its latest issue, describing Anna’s stir as ‘nothing short of a revolution’, the RSS mouthpiece, ‘Organiser’ in the editorial targeted the UPA and the Gandhi clan.
“… Anna Hazare has cornered Congress. The Manmohan-Sonia nautanki (drama) has been exposed…. Is it the death knell for dynasty politcs?”
Also, the so called peaceful and non-violent stir has taken a violent turn. Drunken protestors reportedly roughed up a scribe a few days ago and on Thursday they forced shopkeepers to down shutters.
On Friday, an Anna supporter entered the Parliament and took off his shirt, shouting slogans in Anna’s favour – and raising security concerns.
The situation is expected to get worse, when RSS cadres begin entering the national capital in support of the agitation. – Deccan Chronicle, Chennai, August 27, 2011