Bhubaneswar: Expressing disenchantment with party-based politics, anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare on Tuesday launched a 'second freedom struggle' to send more farmer representatives to Parliament by 2024.
Stating the first struggle took 90 years from 1857 to 1947 to get Independence, he said, "Now, the second goal of establishing real democracy and power in villages may require above 10 years from today."
Speaking at a farmer's convention 'Jai Kisan Mahasamabesh' here, he said, "We would like to see about 100 to 125 farmer representatives in Parliament by 2024. I know we may not send a greater number of farmer representatives to Parliament in the 2014 elections. It may take 10 years to achieve the goal.
"Had the governments taken villages as centres for development, India would have been different. But, they develop towns and help corporates which backfires as India lives in villages. The people sitting in Delhi should not be allowed to decide fate of villagers," Hazare said, criticising the economic policy of successive governments.
He said that the dream of a government by the people, for the people and of the people was not fulfilled in the process.
Stating that he was disgusted with party-based politics which created groups and made people clash with each other, the 76-year-old social activist said, "Nowhere in the Constitution is there mention of political parties.
"But, there is clear mention of people forming the government. Therefore, people should form the government and not parties as is happening now," Hazare said, asking the youth to be prepared for a big struggle to change the system by sending more farmer representatives to Parliament.
Asking people not to vote for candidates known to be goons and corrupt, Hazare said, "Now you have NOTA facility. You may press NOTA button in large numbers and get the election cancelled if the candidates are not up to mark."
He said he would like passage of Bills for Right to Reject and Right to Recall to strengthen democracy and give more power to the people.
Claiming that he had taken 'six wickets' (resignation of six ministers) and suspension of about 400 officials for corruption during the anti-graft campaign, Hazare asked people to unitedly change the fate of the country.
He also described imprisonment for society and the country as an ornaments for activists. "I have been jailed several times. But, I have not been unhappy over this," he said.