Fast at MMRDA, will seek donation through cheque, DD: Hazare

Ralegan Siddhi: Anna Hazare today said his three-day fast would be held at MMRDA grounds in Mumbai for which his team would seek donations through cheques and DDs even as a plea seeking the venue for free or at concessional rates for his stir was rejected by the Bombay High Court.

"MMRDA will give some concessions and the ground hire cost will be Rs 7 lakh. The donations will be accepted only by cheque and draft. We will also keep tab on the donors," the social activist said.

"Many people have approached us to donate money for ground fee," Hazare said, after the Bombay High Court rejected a petition for direction to Maharashtra government for allotting MMRDA ground for free or at concessional rates for his fast.

"Our volunteers shouldn`t have approached court," Hazare said.

Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi will also join in the fast, which would simultaneously be held in Delhi.

Alleging that "many leaders do not want a strong Lokpal," Hazare said, "The new legislation should be prepared only with consent of the people of India."

Demanding that CBI be brought within the ambit of Lokpal, he said,"Had there been a strong Lokpal, then P Chidambaram would have been in jail."

Claiming that the government had cheated people on Lokpal bill, Hazare said, "Our team members participated in nine meetings (of the draft panel). Some of our points were accepted but later dropped. In standing committee also we were cheated. The bill brought before the committee was weak."

However, Hazare said he had complete faith in the wisdom of Parliament. "We have faith in Parliament. We should put pressure on Parliament to pass the right bill."

He said protests will be held outside the houses of MPs after polls in five election-bound states.

"We will move in the whole country and show people what these people (UPA) are. They are harbouring corrupt people in the ministry," he said.

Claiming that the public was happy with his agitation, Hazare said, "The only people who will be inconvenienced with a strong Lokpal bill will be the corrupt."

Asked if he thought Sonia Gandhi should learn from Rajiv Gandhi, who had sought the opinion of Panchayat functionaries before bringing the Panchayati Raj Bill, while handling the Lokpal issue, Hazare said," why not? Rajiv brought the 73rd amendment. This is democracy."