Team to fast today, Anna to wait for 4 more days


On the eve of their indefinite fast against corruption at Jantar Mantar, Anna Hazare and his team members seemed to speak in different voices on Tuesday.

While Hazare claimed the central issue was the Lokpal Bill, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan listed three demands — constitution of a SIT to investigate charges against 15 ministers, fast-track courts for prosecution of tainted MPs, and a SIT probe into corruption charges against the leaders of regional political parties.

Even as Bhushan listed these demands, Hazare picked up the microphone and reiterated: "This is a fight for the Lokpal Bill."

While he avoided a direct reply on the difference in their demands, Hazare said Bhushan's list "is a part of the Lokpal demand because they are the reasons why Lokpal is not happening".

While Hazare had earlier said that he would also fast, he said on Tuesday that Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai will fast on the first four days. "I had come prepared for the fast. But after I came here, my team pointed out that this is going to be a long fight and there is no point in taking unnecessary risks at a time when my blood pressure is already fluctuating. So I have decided to give them four days, and if nothing happens I will fast from July 29," he said.

Hazare also clarified that yoga guru Ramdev will not be present in Jantar Mantar on Wednesday because he is busy with the "bail formalities" of his aide Balakrishna.

Hazare also backtracked from his earlier stand that he would not meet anyone from the government in future. "Discussions are the only way to a solution. We will not go to the government, but if a representative comes to talk to us, we will talk," he said.

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