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NATIONAL: Anna Hazare to go on hunger strike in his village from tomorrow

NATIONAL: Anna Hazare to go on hunger strike in his village from tomorrow

The octagenarian crusader to fast in his village in support of farmers' protest against the contentious farm laws

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ANNA ANNA

AHMEDNAGAR: The farmers' protests against the three contentious farm laws have got a shot in the arm with noted Gandhian and social crusader Kisan Baburao alias Anna Hazare announcing that he will go on a hunger strike here from January 30 in support of the agitation.

Lamenting that the Centre was ignoring all his pleas on the farmers' demands forcing him to go on fast from tomorrow.

While he would take up the hunger strike alone in his village, Hazare appealed to all his supporters to stage similar peaceful agitations in their respective villages in view of the coronavirus pandemic.

The 83-year-old anti-corruption crusader's step assumes special significance on the backdrop of the prevailing situation of Delhi, a state ruled by his avid follower Arvind Kejriwal.

Anna Hazare has been agitating for the farmers' causes for four years and over the past three months, he claimed to have written on the issue five times to the prime minister and Union agriculture minister.

"But it seems that the government is not taking appropriate decisions on the issue of farmers. The government is not sensitive to the plight of farmers. So I will start a fast from the Yadavbaba Temple in Ralegan-Siddhi on January 30, the anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's assassination," Hazare announced last night.

Detailing his struggles for the farmers, Hazare told newspersons here that he had launched a hunger strike in Delhi on March 23, 2018 after which the PMO gave a written assurance on March 29 on the MSP demand and other issues.

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The government, however, did not comply with the assurance forcing him to go on another strike in Ralegan-Siddhi from January 30, 2019 and a week later, the Union Agriculture Minister and then Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis discussed the issue with him.

"After six hours of talks, I was once again given a written assurance. But no concrete action has been taken so far. If the government does not keep promises, how will the country and society get a bright future?" Hazare asked.

"Farmers continue to commit suicide, they don't get the right price for their agriculture produce, and the Centre has been claiming that it has implemented the recommendations of the MS Swaminathan Commission, while the ground realities are otherwise," Hazare alleged.

"Government representatives have been discussing with the farmers, but no solution has so far been arrived at on the farmers'' demands," he added.

Expressing his anguish over the Republic Day violence in New Delhi, he stressed the need for a "non-violent agitation".

"I have organised many agitations over the past 40 years. The Lokpal Movement in New Delhi was joined by lakhs of people from across the country, but not a stone was pelted. Only peaceful struggle can prevail as Gandhiji achieved it for us," he said.