Fasting social crusader Anna Hazare expressed his gratefulness to Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the passage of the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2013 in the Rajya Sabha Tuesday evening.
He thanked Gandhi for showing “commitment” which ensured the passage of the bill, but demanded the recommendations of the select committee be included in the proposed legislation. “The country awaits a strong Lokpal. I welcome your commitment to get the bill passed in parliament.
Please ensure the points approved by the select committee are also incorporated in the bill,” Hazare had said in a letter to Gandhi and Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley Dec 15 on the urgency for clearing the bill. The contents of the letter were released to the media Tuesday amidst celebrations as the Rajya Sabha passed the much-debated bill.
Earlier Tuesday, his aide Suresh Pathare said Hazare, 76, felt “extremely weak” as he has lost 4.7 kg with the creatinine level crossing the normal values and measured at four-plus and the blood pressure at 142/82. Reiterating what he said when starting the fast Dec 10, Hazare said he would call off his indefinite hunger strike once the Lok Sabha passes the anti-corruption legislation and expressed confidence that all parties, including the Samajwadi Party, would support it.
Nevertheless, as a precautionary measure, the Maharashtra government has converted one chamber inside the Yadavbaba temple into a full-fledged intensive care unit as Hazare’s fast completed eight days Tuesday. Hazare is on fast near the Yadavbaba temple in his village Ralegan Siddhi.
However, Pathare said as of now, there is no proposal to shift him to the makeshift ICU, though the medical team is on alert to tackle any eventuality. Meanwhile, thousands of people continued to arrive from Maharashtra, Karnataka and other parts of the country in Ralegan Siddhi to express solidarity with Hazare.