Right to Information – Master key to good governance

Hazare to call off fast if House defers RTI Bill

Posted by rtiact2005 on August 18, 2006

Hazare to call off fast if House defers RTI Bill


PUNE: Social activist Anna Hazare has said that he would give up his fast-unto-death if Parliament defers the proposed Bill to amend the Right to Information Act to the next session.

“If the Bill is not tabled by August 25, when the current session is to end, there is no cause for continuing with the fast,” Hazare told TOI on Thursday.

“Instead,” he said, “such deferment will give us four months to undertake a country-wide campaign against the Bill.” Hazare went on the fast on August 9, describing the protest as a second freedom struggle against attempts to suppress the rights of the common citizen by denying access to file notings.

“People are still not fully aware about how the RTI amendment will affect them,” the 66-year-old reformer and recipient of Ramon Magsaysay award said.

On Wednesday, the veteran activist turned down the PMO’s request to first call off the stir and then meet the Prime Minister in New Delhi for a discussion. “They (PMO) said the issue can be resolved through discussion.

I expressed my preparedness to travel to New Delhi, but they asked me to call off the fast first, which I refused,” Hazare said.

“I was ready to withdraw the stir provided something tangible in favour of public interest would have come out of such meeting,” he added. On his health he said, “I have lost three kgs of weight. My blood pressure keeps fluctuating and I suffer from urine defect. But, there is no cause for worry yet,” he said.

It took a week for the Centre to respond to his fast when Maharashtra minister for agriculture Balasaheb Thorat called on Hazare on Wednesday to convey Union minister of state, in-charge of PMO, Prithviraj Chavan’s message urging the activist to give up the fast.


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