Social activist Anna Hazare’s hunger strike entered the second day on Thursday as he remained defiant on his demand for appointment of anti-corruption watchdogs at the Centre and in Maharashtra and resolution of farmers’ issues.
A bandh was also observed by locals in Hazare’s native Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district in support of his demands. Hazare is sitting on a hunger strike in his village since Wednesday against “non-fulfilment” of assurances by the Centre and the Maharashtra government on the appointment of Lokpal and passage of the Lokayukta Act in the state.
The 81-year-old Army man-turned-activist has also been demanding appointment of Lokayuktas in states where such statutory anti-corruption watchdogs do not exist. He has also been demanding implementation of the Swaminathan Commission recommendations on ways to address agrarian distress, besides some electoral reforms. Locals of Ralegan Siddhi village issued a statement on Thursday to local tehsildar, as an official representative of the state government, to look into Hazare’s demands. Doctors conducted a check-up of Hazare and asked his caretakers to monitor the activist’s condition closely.
“He is over 80 years’ old. He needs to be looked after,” the doctors told Hazare’s close aides. Hazare had earlier declined to meet state government envoy and minister Girish Mahajan for talks over his demands. However, Mahajan said on Wednesday that talks were going on with Hazare and his supporters. — PTI