Thankful Anna ends 9-day fast

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Ralegan Siddhi, December 19:  Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare ended his nine-day fast as the Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill on Wednesday afternoon. Celebrations that began on Tuesday in his village Ralegan Siddhi, where he was fasting, continued throughout the day.

The septuagenarian held back tears as news reached him that the Lok Sabha passed the Bill, and chants of Bharat Mata Ki Jai began in the Yadav Baba Temple complex. Amid loud cheers, he waved the tricolour. He was joined by his associates Kiran Bedi, Gen. V.K. Singh and Vishwambar Choudhari.

He thanked the Select Committee for strengthening the previous Lokpal Bill. “I thank all parliamentarians, except those belonging to the Samajwadi Party, with folded hands.”

However, Mr. Hazare’s former protégé, Arvind Kejriwal, remained conspicuous by his absence. Even as the activist thanked everyone associated with the movement, there was no mention of Mr. Kejriwal.

Mr. Hazare requested that the law be made within the next three months, before the code of conduct for elections is enforced.

He said his work against corruption was far from over. Announcing the establishment of a watchdog, he said, “We will look for retired judges, policemen and civil society members, and make committees at the national level to review the work done by the Lokpal.”

Ms. Kiran Bedi called it a “historic moment after independence.” However, she reiterated that good rules need to be made to ensure that the law was implemented.

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