Activist Anna Hazare wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and reiterated her decision to launch “the last hunger strike” of her life on the problems of farmers in Delhi by the end of January.
The letter came out as farmers’ unions agitate at Delhi’s borders against the Centre’s new agricultural laws.
Speaking to reporters later, Hazare said the new agricultural laws are not in line with “democratic values” and that the participation of the people is needed in the drafting of legislation.
He will hold a fast in the nation’s capital by the end of the month, Hazare, 83, said in the letter to the prime minister, without specifying a date.
On December 14, Hazare wrote to Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar warning him of a hunger strike if his demands, including the implementation of the MS Swaminathan committee recommendations on the agriculture, were not satisfied.
He also called for the granting of autonomy to the Agricultural Costs and Prices Commission.
“On the question of the farmers, I had a correspondence (with the Center) five times, but no answer came”.
“As a result, I decided to go on the last hunger strike of my life,” Hazare said in his letter to the prime minister on Thursday.
He wrote four letters to the relevant authority asking for permission to hold a hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, but no response came from them, he said.
Hazare, who was at the forefront of the anti-corruption movement in 2011, recalled that when he went on a hunger strike at Ramlila Maidan, the then UPA government called a special session of Parliament.
“During that session, you and your senior ministers (the leaders of the BJP, which was then in opposition to the Center) praised me, but now, despite written assurances on the requests, you do not fulfill them,” he said.
He then attached a video of opposition MPs praising him in parliament, Hazare said.
Speaking to a local news channel later, Hazare also commented on the agitation of farmers at Delhi’s borders, saying people should be involved in the law-making process.
“These (agricultural) laws are not in line with democratic values. If the government allows the participation of the people in the drafting of bills, it would be able to make laws as the people want,” he said. he adds.
He also called the suspension of law enforcement by the Supreme Court a “moral defeat” of the government and praised the farmers for protesting peacefully.
“If the farmers continue the agitation in a nonviolent manner, the government will not be able to do anything. As soon as it becomes violent, the government will crush it,” said the Gandhian activist.
Hazare also said he sees no immediate end to the standoff between the government and farmers as both sides are “adamant” about their positions.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by The Bharat Express News staff and is posted Platforms.)