Veteran social activist Anna Hazare has cancelled his planned fast against the three central agricultural laws. He announced his decision in the presence of senior BJP leader and former Maharashtra chief minister, Devendra Fadnavis.
“I have been doing andolan (agitation) on various issues for a long time. It is not a crime to protest peacefully…I have been raising the farmers’ issue for three years… they die by suicide because they don’t get the right prices for their crops…the government has decided to increase the MSP (Minimum Support Price) by 50 percent – I have got the letter,” he told reporters. “Since the centre decided to work on these 15 issues (his demands for farmers), I have cancelled tomorrow’s fast,” he added. Commenting on the violence on January 26 during farmers’ tractor rally against the new agriculture laws, Hazare had said that the incident was regrettable. He claimed that all his movements, including the 2011 protest in favour of introduction of the Lokpal Bill, have been non-violent and peaceful.
Earlier in the day, the 83-year-old said he will begin his indefinite hunger strike at his village of Ralegan Siddhi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district from Saturday. He had also urged his supporters to fast at their respective locations. Last month, he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying he would launch the “last hunger strike” of his life by January end.