Anna Hazare keeps suspense alive on fast venue

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Anna Hazare protest
Mumbai, Dec 23: With Anna Hazare and team all set for their show of strength for an effective Lokpal Bill, he will kickstart his three-day fast from Dec 27 at Mumbai. But it looks like the anti-corruption activist is hitting roadblocks even before the start of the mass agitation.

With the venue still undecided, Team Anna earlier had zeroed in on the MMRDA grounds in Bandra-Kurla complex. But the plan was shelved after taking into consideration the steep rent of Rs 19 lakhs. India Against Corruption (IAC) has asked for an exemption for the steep rates citing that the venue was not being used for commercial purposes. They added that Anna's movement was a people's movement and qualifies for an exemption.

The IAC in its statement said, "It appears that the CM is not giving Annaji the exemption for MMRDA. Andolan will be at Azad Maidan. IAC is going ahead with providing intimation to concerned authorities."

After scouting for the ground near the Azad Maidan, that too was rejected by the sporting body Sports and Youth Services, which controls certain sports grounds in Mumbai saying that school cricket tournaments were planned between Dec 26 and Dec 30 on two pitches at the Azad Maidan.

The earlier decided Azad Maidan was also insufficient for the sort of gathering expected for the mass agitation against corruption. The Azad Maidan can accommodate only 3000-4000 people while the MMRDA grounds can carry close to one lakh people.

Meanwhile, India Against Corruption(IAC) has filed a writ petition against MMRDA and the Maharashtra government for not allowing the site to be used as a protest site. Anna Hazare and team has, however, stated that they will carry out a 'jail bharo' movement if the authorities do not concede to their demands. He said, "Even in Delhi, they put me in jail first and then gave us a place. The same will happen here, we will at least get a place in jail."

OneIndia News

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