Anna Hazare begins 'Janatantra Yatra' from Amritsar

Launching his 'Janatantra Yatra' from Punjab, social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday described it as the beginning of the second freedom struggle to rid the nation of the corrupt politicians.

"Now for me 'Janatantra Yatra' is the second freedom struggle to free the nation from corruption and corrupt politicians," he said, and lashed out at politicians alleging many of them were "Gundas" facing criminal charges.

The social activist categorically made it clear that he and his activists have no future plans to contest Lok Sabha elections or to collect funds.

The only motive of 'Janatantra Yatra' was to bring honest candidates for the upcoming Parliament elections so that candidates having criminal and corrupt background could be kept away from the election fray, Hazare said while addressing a rally in Rayya town here, nearly 40 km away from Amritsar.

Addressing a group of people outside the Jallianwala Bagh, Hazare, who was flanked by former Army Chief VK Singh, said only a mass movement will bring change in the country.

Hazare said after five months a big Jan-Sansad (public rally) will be organised at Ramlila Ground in the national capital "which will seal the fate of this corrupt government".

The public rallies are being held to press 25-point agenda under the banner of 'Janatantra Yatra' to garner people's support against the Congress-led UPA government ahead of next year's Lok Sabha polls and make "people aware of its efforts to ditch the Jan Lokpal bill," he said.

Hazare had floated 'Janatantra Morcha' after the protests on Lokpal Bill fizzled out and Team Anna split, with a faction led by Arvind Kejriwal forming a political party. Hazare told about his past life and said Punjab will always remain a source of inspiration for him.

Hazare said, here in Punjab, during the India-Pakistan war in 1965, he got a 'second life' as he had a narrow escape during the gun battle.

During the war he was at Khemkaran border where Indian Army achieved victory in fierce tank battle, he said.

Hazare said that during the war his colleagues were killed and he was wounded "seriously" in air strike.

"After surviving, I decided to put the rest of the life for wellbeing of the nation and not to marry," Hazare said while addressing the rally.

Hazare said that the motive of the yatra was to infuse new spirit among the youth who could raise their voice against the "malpractice on the part of UPA Government".

The social activist said that he never intended to harm anybody personally and has no concern with any political party.

Earlier, in Golden Temple, Hazare said that after visiting the holy temple he felt a unique inspiration to continue his 'Janatantra Yatra' with brave heart.

Talking about the 1984 Blue Star Operation, Hazare said, "it was done by the then Government due to ignorance".

He said that Golden Temple was a pious place where people get inspiration to fight against the evils and Guru Granth Sahib never taught violence.

"Golden Temple is the house of the God and the then Government of India took decision under the influence of ignorance," he said.

Meanwhile, former Army chief VK Singh, while addressing the rally, said during his tenure in the Indian Army he dealt with Punjabi people and experienced that they have great energy and can do the most difficult task in difficult circumstances.

Singh sought support from ex-armymen and people from each section of the society to bring changes for the betterment of nation.

Later, Hazare and Singh also visited Dera Baba Jaimal Singh to meet Radha Soami Sect chief Gurinder Singh Dhillon at Beas headquarters, about 45 km away from Amritsar.

Both the leaders spent about one hour with the sect chief. Hazare also talked about his 'Janatantra Yatra' with sect chief in brief.
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