29 mar 2013
Anna Hazare meets Arvind Kejriwal, asks him to call off fast
New Delhi: Anna Hazare on Friday night visited Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal at his indefinite hunger strike site in Delhi and urged him to call off his fast citing his deteriorating health.
The meeting between Mr Hazare and Mr Kejriwal took place at around 10:50 pm.
This is the first time that both Mr Hazare and Mr Kejriwal came on a common platform since they parted ways in September last year.
Mr Kejriwal’s fast against “inflated” power bills entered the seventh day on Friday.
Mr Hazare, who had split with Mr Kejriwal in September last year on the question of the anti-corruption movement taking a political plunge, was on way to Amritsar where he will launch his nation-wide tour on Sunday.
After his arrival at the Delhi airport, Mr Hazare said he would ask Mr Kejriwal to break his fast as his health was deteriorating. “Government wants us to die, but we should fight,” he said.
Mr Hazare said one or two days more of fasting is okay but not more than that. He said he had asked Mr Kejriwal to break the fast as the struggle is a long one.
“I told him we should not kill ourselves. These fasts are bringing awareness among people. People in the whole country have awakened now. In future, we will continue to tolerate till we can and then break the fast and once we regain health we should again stand up to fight. This is not a four-day battle. But a very long war,” Mr Hazare said addressing the crowd.
He said Mr Kejriwal is not asking for money or administrative position but just asking the government to take note of the trouble that the poor are going through. “If a poor man gets an electricity bill of Rs. 3,000-4,000, from where is he going to pay,” he said.
Thanking Mr Hazare, Mr Kejriwal said he was grateful to the veteran activist for taking time to meet him.
The meeting has come as a shot in the arm for Mr Kejriwal as a large number of volunteers have delinked themselves from the movement citing that they want to remain apolitical.
Mr Hazare was against the anti-corruption movement turning into a political party as planned by Mr Kejriwal.
Mr Hazare had last week said Mr Kejriwal had visited him earlier this month to seek his blessings before the fast and invite him. He had said he was not with any party.
The septuagenarian activist, however, had said he will see if he gets time to visit Mr Kejriwal and that there was no harm if two men meet and talk.