If no Lokpal, ‘Jail Bharo’ from January 1: Hazare

Setting the agenda for action if an effective Lokpal bill was not passed in parliament’s current session, Anna Hazare on Thursday announced a jail bharo agitation from January 1 and an indefinite fast in Mumbai from December 27.

Addressing journalists after a meeting with leaders of his team, Hazare said that if time was an issue, then the winter session of parliament, scheduled to end December 22, should be extended.

"All those people attached with this movement and who feel strongly about the Jan Lokpal bill will participate in the jail bharo andolan. We will fill jails all over the country," Hazare told reporters here.

He added that there would be an indefinite fast in Mumbai from December 27. Besides, protests would be staged outside MPs houses.

And if the Lokpal bill became effective, there would be a swagat (welcome) ceremony at the Ramlila ground, Hazare said.

"This is not a question of Anna, this is a national question… It is a question related to the poor," Hazare said, stressing the importance of his version of the Lokpal (ombudsman) bill.

He declared that Class 3 and 4 government employees had to be brought under the ambit of the Lokpal.

"We will not accept it otherwise," Hazare said, adding that he would insist on it even if it meant risking his life.

He said the bill had come in parliament eight times but had not yet been passed.(IANS)

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