India on Tenterhooks, Anna Hazare Fasts On
The logjam between the government of India and civil society over an effective anti-corruption law continues even as the Hunger strike by Anna Hazare, the leader of the anti-corruption movement has entered its 11th day. This morning, in the parliament, Rahul Gandhi, MP of the ruling Congress party has lashed out against Anna Hazare-led, countrywide movement against corruption, supported by millions.
The speech by Rahul Gandhi, who has been projected as the future prime minister of India by many of his party members, is expected to draw sharp criticism from the civil society, deepening the present crisis even further.
Thursday, there were several rounds of meeting between Anna Hazare and the government, as well as BJP – the country’s main opposition party. The team of Anna tried to pursue the government to introduce the proposed bill in the parliament for a debate, if not passed before the weekend. The government, on its part, has been unwilling to do so.
High drama followed every round of the meetings, as the ministers came out with different versions of ‘status report’, making it extremely difficult for all to understand where the dialogue had reached and what was the exact progress of the anti-corruption law. While someof the ministers like Salman Khurseed (federal Law minister) accused Anna Hazare’s associates of being ill-tempered and twisting facts, Anna’s associated accused the government of breaking promises and making several U-turns every few hours.
For example, on Thursday, the government had agreed to present the draft Janlokpal Bill in the parliament for voting and adoption, but on Friday it backtracked and presented it only for discussion.
Will the latest criticism by Rahul Gandhi help in making Anna Hazare - who has been waiting for the government to adopt the Jan Lopal bill- agree to call off his fast,? At this hour, it seems highly unlikely.