Anna ends fast, pledges long fight against corruption

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Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Apr 9: Gandhian Anna Hazare today called off his 98-hour hunger strike after government came out with a gazette notification constituting a Joint Committee of ministers and civil society activists to draft an effective Lok Pal Bill, but he pledge a long struggle against corruption and reform of the electoral system.

Curtains were drawn on the fifth-day of the fast-unto- death campaign that drew instant nationwide support with a little girl giving the 73-year-old activist a glass of water at 10.45 am at Jantar Mantar, the nerve-centre of the campaign for a strong law to combat political and administrative graft.

Earlier, Hazare offered water to some women, among the over 300 activists who had joined the fast saying it was a victory of people's power. And celebrations broke out instantaneously in the capital and cities across the country.

"This just the beginning of the fight against corruption. Our responsibility has now increased," the 73-year-old social activist said, setting August 15 as the deadline for the passage of the Lok Pal Bill.

In a brief speech he made speech after he broke his fast, he said it was just the beginning of a long struggle ahead and would lead the fight for the "second struggle for independence".

He declared he would not rest content with the anti-graft legislation but fight for reforms of the electoral system, including the provision for ''right to recall'' of elected representatives from the gram panchayat level.

In the morning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement saying the government intends to introduce the "historic legislation" in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

PTI

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