Social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday said he will launch a hunger strike from October 2 against the government for the delay in appointing Lokpal at the Centre. “I will go on a hunger strike from October 2, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, at my native Ralegan Siddhi village in Ahmednagar district of Maharashtra,” Hazare told PTI. He also asked people to join him in his campaign to rid the country of corruption.
Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance at the Centre, Hazare said the government had earlier promised it would appoint Lokpal and implement the Lokpal bill, which was passed by Parliament and signed by former President Pranab Mukherjee in 2014. Hazare cited the government’s “lack of will” to curb corruption. “Hence, it is giving a lot of reasons and delaying the appointment of the Lokpal,” he added
Hazare went on an indefinite hunger strike on March 23, calling it off on March 29 after being assured by Union Minister of State for Agriculture Gajendra Singh Shekhawat and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis that appointments of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in the states would be made soon. He had then threatened to relaunch his protest if the government did not act within six months.
Hazare, who was on a 12-day hunger strike in 2011, is considered the face of the Lokpal movement. After his fast, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had passed the Lokpal bill.
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court expressed concern over the Centre’s response to the appointment of search committee members. The Centre told the court that the Lokpal selection committee would meet to set up a search panel for recommending names. The selection committee comprises the prime minister, the chief justice, the Lok Sabha Speaker, the leader of Opposition and an eminent jurist.
In a verdict in April 2017, the Supreme Court had said the enforcement of Lokpal Act could not be suspended till the proposed amendments were cleared by Parliament.