New Delhi : Social activist Anna Hazare on Monday went on a day’s fast in the national capital, expressing his anguish at Prime Minister Narendra Modi not fulfilling promise of a corruption-free India and sitting tight for three years on implementation of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act that could have mounted a war against the corrupt.
In a 4-page letter sent to the PM before praying at Rajghat and observing the fast on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, Hazare comes down heavily on the PM for his false promises of “Achchhe Din” and noting that nothing improved in the past three years.
“Neither Lokpal was appointed, nor common civil code implemented, nor black money brought back from abroad, nor people given account of black money unearthed in demonetisation, nor farmers’ suicide decreased but rather increased, nor acted upon Swaminathan Committee report on agriculture nor farmers given price based on production cost, nor security and respect of women increased but rather no day goes without atrocities on women and corruption increasing every day so much so that Forbes report puts India at No 1 in Asia in terms of corruption,” Hazare wrote in his lengthy letter in Hindi.
Pointing out that it was a people’s movement he mounted to pressurise then UPA government to get the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act passed by Parliament, he reminded Modi that he came to power selling dreams of a corruption-free India and “Achchhe din” (good days) and the people troubled by corruption trusted his big words and voted him to power.
“You will agree that people voted you on the issues of corruption and vikas (development), but corruption has rather increased in the past three years because your government did nothing to stop corruption except for the big talks. How do we expect a corruption-free Bharat. It pains my heart.”
Hazare said he has been writing letters to the PM every year, but Modi did nothing, nor did he reply to his letters. Doing nothing to banish corruption but showing earnest hurry to do what should not be done, he said.
citing how a Bill brought by the NDA government in December 18, 2014 is having ping pong fate as it is now hanging with a 7-member group of ministers (GoP) despite a parliamentary standing committee report.
He also took exception to get Section 44 of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Act amended retrospectively on July 27, 2016 without debate in the Lok Sabha nor the House was given advance intimation and similarly it was got passed the very next day and got the President’s signatures the third day. So much hurry was to exempt family members from the bureaucrats and thus help the corrupt Babus to hide their ill-gotten wealth in the name of the family members, Hazare alleged, wondering if this brought transparency or weakened the ant-corruption law.
“You can pass such a retrogressive law in three days, but could not appoint the Lokpal even after three years,” Hazare said, noting that Modi had also kept the Lokayukta post vacant in Gujarat when he was the chief minister.
He said he can only surmise that the PM does not want any Lokpal or Lokayukta and as such “you do not want a corruption-free Bharat.”
Hazare also pointed out that the NDA government could not get passed the amendment sought for the Lokpal’s appointment even in three years while it could get the Finance Bill, 2017, passed with 40 amendments, including one to remove the cap of 7.5% on donations to the political parties by the companies and strengthen the parties’’ path for becoming financially strong.