Anna to fast in jail if no venue permission

Ralegan Siddhi: Slamming the new Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare today said the government should involve people in lawmaking and invoked Rajiv Gandhi`s name to tell the Congress-led dispensation that he had written to all village heads before coming out with the Panchayati Raj Bill.

Hazare questioned as to why the government was drafting the bill alone. "Why is it so? Why does it not take the advise of the people? People are the masters and they have sent MPs to serve them. So they have to listen to people. Late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi understood this.

"He wrote to sarpanches in all the 5.5 lakh villages in the country on the 73rd and 74th amendment. You cannot do it on your whims and fancies. Then what is the difference between autocracy and democracy?" he told reporters here.

Hazare said the new Lokpal Bill was "very weak" and a "wrong one" which will not help in eradicating corruption. Asked whether he read the bill last night, Hazare said, "leave it" and went to say that the government should involve people in the process of drafting law.

Queried about his proposed fast from next Tuesday, he said if he does not get a venue, he will go to jail and fast. "They will keep creating hurdles. In August, they did not give me a venue till last minute. I had to fast in jail…this time also, if they don`t give me venue, I will go to jail," he said.