Anna Hazare ends fast

Anna Hazare on Saturday called off his hunger strike bringing to an end his 98-hour protest after government issued a gazette notification constituting a 10-member Joint Committee of ministers and civil society activists, including him, to draft an effective Lok Pal Bill. Curtains were drawn on the anti-corruption campaign that drew instant nationwide support with a little girl giving the 73-year-old activist a glass of water at 10.45 am at Jantar Mantar, the nerve-centre of the agitation for a strong legislation to combat political and administrative graft. Earlier, Mr. Hazare offered water to some women, among the over 300 activists who had joined the fast.
Social activists Swami Agnivesh, Medha Patkar and Kiran Bedi hailed Hazare’s campaign as the Gandhian said he would to continue the fight for the “second struggle for independence“. In the morning, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh issued a statement saying the government intends to introduce the “historic legislation” in the Monsoon session of Parliament. He described the coming together of civil society and government on the Lok Pal Bill issue as a step that augurs well for democracy, saying it signifies the mutual resolve to combat corruption. “I am pleased that Anna Hazare has agreed to give up his fast,” he said after his ministers worked out a deal with Hazare’s emissaries last night to bring to end the protest at Jantar Mantar.