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Anna threatens to return Padma Bhushan if govt doesn't fulfill promises

Around 5,000 farmers from the district are expected to stage a protest outside the Ahmednagar collector’s office on Monday to support Hazare’s agitation, his associates said.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 4 Feb 2019 7:27 AM GMT

Anna threatens to return Padma Bhushan if govt doesnt fulfill promises
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Anna threatens to return Padma Bhushan if govt doesn't fulfill promises
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Ralegan Siddhi: Social activist Anna Hazare, whose indefinite hunger strike entered the fifth day on Sunday, warned if the Narendra Modi government did not fulfil its promises, he would return his Padma Bhushan award.

Anna has been on a hunger strike since last Wednesday at his native village Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, demanding appointments of Lokpal and Lokayuktas and resolution of the issues of farmers.

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BJP’s ally Shiv Sena also came out in Hazare’s support, urging him to follow socialist leader Jayaprakash Narayan and carry forward the fight against corruption.

While talking to media, Hazare said “If this government does not fulfil its promises made to the country in the next few days, I will return my Padma Bhushan. The Modi government has breached the faith of people"

The veteran activist was awarded the prestigious award in the year 1992.

Hazare’s demands include immediate introduction of Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayuktas in states, implementation of Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations for tackling farm distress and electoral reforms.

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Many farmers and youth blocked the Ahmednagar-Pune highway at Supa village in Parner tehsil, 38 km from here.

As many as 110 protesters were detained in the afternoon and released after the traffic resumed, Bhosale said.

Dr Dhananjay Pote, who checked Hazare in the morning, said he had lost 3.8 kg in the past five days and his blood pressure, blood sugar and creatinine level in the urine had gone up.

Around 5,000 farmers from the district are expected to stage a protest outside the Ahmednagar collector’s office on Monday to support Hazare’s agitation, his associates said.

Leaders of various political parties from Parner tehsil were present at the meeting.

Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray appealed to the BJP-led state government to intervene and asked it to not to “play” with Hazare’s life.

Thackeray also asked Hazare to take to the streets instead of “giving up” his life, and urged him to follow the role played by Narayan in the 1970s when the socialist leader stood against the Indira Gandhi government.

Uddhav said that Hazare should not meet the fate of activist G D Agrawal, who died during a fast for his campaign for clean Ganga.

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Anna had earlier refused to meet state government deputy and minister Girish Mahajan for talks.

The anti-corruption campaigner had told media that he welcomed the Maharashtra cabinet’s decision to bring the office of the chief minister under the ambit of the Lokayukta.

“However, the strike will continue till the government fulfils promises they made before coming to power about passage of Lokayukta Act, appointment of Lokpal (at the Centre) and to tackle farmers’ issues,” he said.

Meanwhile Anna's indefinite hunger strike has compelled the BJP government to take desirable actions as its allies have joined the march against it.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

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