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Anna Hazare to end hunger strike after govt accepts demands

28 August, 2011

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NEW DELHI: A self-styled Gandhian activist, whose campaign against corruption united millions of Indians, agreed on Saturday to end his 12-day hunger strike after the government agreed to his demands for tougher laws against rampant graft.

Anna Hazare, 74, told tens of thousands of supporters in New Delhi on Saturday evening, flanked by members of the ruling Congress party, that he would end his hunger strike today (Sunday morning). "For 12 days, the country's people have stood here — it is their victory," he said.

"At 10 am (0430 GMT) tomorrow (Sunday) I want to break my fast among all of you," he said, urging his supporters not to create disturbances with their celebrations. "You have to celebrate, but with peace. Don't disturb the peace," Hazare told the crowd.

Hazare's agitation has tapped a groundswell of public anger against endemic corruption, uniting the country's bulging middle-class against the hapless government and underlining voter anger at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The activist's announcement that he would end his fast followed a day-long parliamentary debate in parliament in which Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee declared lawmakers had agreed to Hazare's demands in principle.

Earlier, India's parliament expressed support on Saturday for tougher anti-corruption legislation, the finance minister said, meeting key demands set by Hazare to end his 12-day hunger strike against graft.

End.

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