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Anna Hazare to hold protest from March 23 over Lokpal 

New Delhi, Dec 5 (IANS) Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday said the Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government has weakened the anti-graft mechanism by making an amendment to the Lokpal Act.

Both the Congress and the BJP were pro-industrialists and were never concerned about farmers’ problems, he said while announcing an agitation in the national capital from March 23, 2018.

Hazare will press for remunerative crop prices and a strong Lokpal.

“The Manmohan Singh government had weakened the Lokpal Act when it was framed. Now, the Modi government has further weakened it when it amended Section 44 that says relatives of government officials will not have to submit property details,” Hazare told reporter here.

“Interestingly, the Amendment Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha in just one go, without holding any discussion.”

The anti-graft crusader also said the Modi government was talking about a corruption-free India but on the other hand it was weakening the anti-corruption laws.

“There are five Bills to check corruption that have been stuck in Parliament for last five years. No one is thinking about it…Why is Modi making anti-corruption laws weak?” he said.

Hazare said about 12 lakh farmers across the country had committed suicide in the past 22 years.

The BJP had promised that it would do a lot for farmers’ welfare before coming to power but nothing has been done in its three years’ of governance, Hazare said.

He said he has written at least 30 letters to the central government over farmers’ issues but he has not got any reply so far.

“Now, I have asked for a venue to hold agitation on March 23. The Congress government had earlier denied me any place in 2011 and subsequently put me in the jail. Let’s see what this government does now,” Hazare said.

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