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Ailing Anna to break his fast today


December 28, 2011 - Mumbai

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare, who is into the second day of his three-day fast for a strong Lokpal Bill, will break his fast this evening. He took this decision considering his failing health.

Addressing a gathering at Mumbai's MMRDA ground, Hazare said: "My fast will be over today."

Asserting that we will campaign against those who opposed the Lokpal Bill, Hazare said: " From Dec 30-Jan 1, I will be at Delhi's Ram Lila Ground for a protest.

"I put my faith in the youth of this country and I appeal to them to fight. You can do greater things than Anna Hazare,' he added

Earlier, doctors requested him to call off his fast saying that it could lead to kidney failure.

There were signs of dehydration and further fasting was strongly discouraged, said Dr Ashwin Mehta of Jaslok Hospital, who examined Anna Hazare along with Dr P P Lahane, Dean of JJ Hospital.

At the end of his first day of hunger strike, Anna's fever had climbed to 102 degrees and his Blood Pressure was 170/104. His temperature had come down to 100 degrees but his blood pressure dropped to 105/70 when standing, making it difficult for him to walk, the doctor said.

The Jan Lokpal bill drafted by the civil society members led by Hazare had envisaged the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India.

Team Anna plans to picket Congress Party leaders' homes from Friday till the New Year's Eve.

The battle for an ombudsman is unlikely to be over yet, but Congress Party will be able to trumpet the passage of the Bill as it fights elections in five states in the next few weeks.

It was Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi who proposed to give the Lokpal Constitutional status, on a par with prestigious institutions such as the election commission and the opposition was quick to play up that setback.

ANI

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