corruption in india

Anna Hazare sits on day-long hunger strike, criticises Narendra Modi for not acting on corruption

The social activist attacked the government for not enforcing the Lokpal and Lokayukta bills even after three years in power.

Social activist Anna Hazare on Monday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of failing to keep his promise of creating a corruption-free India. He said Modi had done nothing to enforce the Lokpal Bill, IANS reported.

After paying tribute to Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat in Delhi on Gandhi Jayanti, Hazare said he would go on a day-long hunger strike, the Financial Express reported. “It has been 70 years since our country gained independence, but we have moved away from the vision he had for India,” the activist said. “It is for this reason that I am going to launch my satyagraha [struggle] from Gandhiji’s samadhi.”

In a letter to the prime minister, Hazare criticised the government for not enforcing the Lokpal and Lokayukta bills even after three years in power. He accused the government of postponing the enforcement of the anti-corruption law by making “one or the other excuse”.

“It appears you have no intention to bring in the Lokpal and Lokayukta acts...And you don’t want to build a corruption-free India,” Hazare wrote in his letter. “Instead, efforts are being made to weaken democracy and strengthen the [Bharatiya Janata] party.”

Hazare also highlighted that several of the BJP’s promises to the common man – including ending farmer suicides, ensuring fair prices for agricultural produce, getting back black money stashed abroad and the safety of women – remain unfulfilled.

The Lokpal Bill

In April 2017, the Supreme Court had criticised the government for the Lokpal Bill being delayed. It had said the legislation passed to appoint an anti-corruption ombudsman – a Lokpal – was a workable one, and there was no need for the Centre to keep its implementation pending.

“There is no justification for the government to hold the Lokpal Act in abeyance,” the bench had said, adding that the amendments to the Act could also be enforced right away.

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