New Delhi, Dec 11(ANI): Veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday began his day-long fast at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to protest the Central government's version of the Lokpal Bill.
Before beginning the fast, Hazare had visited Rajghat to pay tribute to Mahatma Gandhi.
Hazare was accompanied by his close aides Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia.
Team Anna has invited all political parties including the Congress and the BJP to attend the fast.
Hazare, who is fighting for a strong anti-graft bill, has reiterated his demand that the Centre should table and enact an effective Lokpal Bill that includes the lower cadres in government and other proposals suggested by the civil society members under the banner of India Against Corruption.Earlier, he had lashed out at the Central government and Parliamentary Standing Committee for "betraying" the people by drafting a "weak" Lokpal Bill.
"The issues and provisions that appear in the draft released by the Standing Committee are same as those in the government version of the Lokpal Bill," he had said.
"The Standing Committee's draft mirrors what has already been said by the government. This proves that the Standing Committee has betrayed and misled the people. The Standing Committee's draft will not in any way help eliminate corruption from this country," he had added.
The Lokpal Bill is seen as a weapon to root out corruption and nepotism from the government machinery and in public life.
The proposed Bill envisages the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India.
The 74-year-old social activist had staged an indefinite hunger strike against graft that he gave up on August 28 when the government agreed to deliberate the issues raised by him and his forum vis-a-vis the passage and enactment of the Lokpal Bill, a suggestion that has received unprecedented nationwide backing. (ANI)