News / Asia

India Anti-Corruption Activist Hazare Calls Off Hunger Strike

Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare waves to his supporters after ending his fast at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) grounds in Mumbai December 28, 2011.
Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare waves to his supporters after ending his fast at the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC) grounds in Mumbai December 28, 2011.
Anjana Pasricha

In India, anti-corruption campaigner Anna Hazare has ended his hunger strike to press for a tougher anti-graft law earlier than planned. The landmark anti-corruption bill, which he wants redrafted, has been passed by the lower house of parliament and now heads to the upper house, where the government is trying to ensure its passage.

The hunger strike by the anti-corruption campaigner in Mumbai was to last for three days. But on Wednesday evening, the 74-year-old activist announced that he is calling off his protest a day early.

Hazare did not cite a reason. But doctors have warned of a danger to the health of the activist, who has been running a fever. His protest also has seen far thinner crowds compared to his earlier campaigns, prompting commentators to say that the poor public response could be a factor behind his decision.

Hazare also called off a civil disobedience campaign, in which he had asked supporters to fill jails voluntarily starting Friday.

The activist, however, whose fiery campaign in August put the anti-graft bill on the top of the government’s agenda, has vowed to continue his struggle for a tougher law.

The legislation, passed by the lower house on Wednesday, seeks to create a new agency to investigate charges of corruption against politicians and bureaucrats. But civil society activists argue that the proposed ombudsman will not have independent powers of investigation, and will be a tool in the hands of the government.

Hazare said that in upcoming regional elections, he will campaign against all politicians who did not support a tough anti-graft law.

The bill was expected to be debated on Wednesday in the upper house, where it must be passed before it becomes legislation. The government deferred its introduction by a day, though, apparently seeking to gather enough support to push the anti-corruption legislation through.

The ruling coalition is short of a majority in the upper house. It will need the support of regional parties and independent lawmakers to pass the bill because the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party [BLP] has strongly opposed what it also calls a “flawed law.”

“The UPA government led by Congress [Party] forces a legislation which creates a weak Lokpal,” said Ravi Shankar Prasad, BJP leader.

The government is likely to get a major boost if it can steer the measure through the upper house because it is under pressure to demonstrate its sincerity in fighting corruption after a slew of graft scandals tarnished its image.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid