Team Anna is hoping for a better public support on the issue of corruption on the third day of their indefinite fast as Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is likely to join them at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday.
“I congratulate Pranab Mukherjee. He has my best wishes. I would not like to talk about corruption charges against him,” Hazare said. His goodwill was a far cry from his aides’ belligerence against Pranab.
Crowds kept away from Team Anna’s indefinite fast against the UPA government on corruption raising questions as to whether the movement has lost its steam .Unlike in the past, crowds that had thronged the protest venue were missing this time and the count at its peak in the evening was somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000. The organisers issued appeals to “mothers, wives and daughters” to flock to the protest site at Jantar Mantar on Friday
Anna aide Arvind Kejriwal was missing from the stage. An activist said he had gone to Bulandshahr in Uttar Pradesh to appear before a court which had sent a notice to him on a complaint seeking his prosecution for his alleged offensive remarks against MPs.
Countering views that Team Anna has changed its course on Lokpal, he said the demand for probe against 15 Union Ministers is part of Lokpal agitation. “This country is going in a fast pace towards destruction. Soon in future, it will be totally destroyed. We have to stop this,” Prashant Bhushan said.
Activists said the health of Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai deteriorated further. Kejriwal’s blood sugar dipped to 96, Sisodia’s to 54 and Rai’s to 75.
Reminding people that the ground was full during the Ramlila agitation last August, Bedi asked, “Are you afraid of being caught on live TV at an anti- corruption protest.”
Appealing to people to flock the venue as it is a fight for finish, Bedi said people have to take to the streets as their are becoming victims of corruption.
“You may ask what is benefit in protesting. It is for the future generation. I am more than 60 years old and I will also die. What is the benefit to protest? If we win this battle, we will leave a corruption-free India for our children. That is the benefit,” she said.
At a press conference two days ago, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said their protest is “limited” to an SIT probe against ministers, a fast track court to try cases against MPs and the SIT to go into allegations against party chiefs.
However, Hazare immediately took the microphone and said “the fight is for Lokpal Bill” and went on to add that till the 15 ministers against whom they have raised allegations are jailed if they are guilty, the country would not get a strong anti- corruption mechanism.