Anna Hazare, India Anti-Corruption Activist, Ends Hunger Strike
NEW DELHI -- A prominent Indian activist called off his hunger strike Wednesday but said that he would travel the country and campaign against the government after Parliament's lower house approved an anti-corruption legislation he called weak.
Anna Hazare ended his fast a day earlier than planned with a glass of juice offered to him by a young girl. Doctors said earlier in the day the 74-year-old Hazare had a fever and high blood pressure and his health would worsen if he continued fasting.
Hazare also called off a three-day public protest where his supporters would court arrest.
He said he would now spend the next year traveling across the country asking them to vote against the government in the next elections. Five key states have elections next year, while India's national polls are in 2014.
Hoping to defuse Hazare's anti-corruption crusade, the lower house of Parliament passed a bill Tuesday to create an anti-graft watchdog. The government has said it would push its bill through the upper house by Thursday.
Hazare's main complaint has been that the watchdog would not have authority over the country's top investigative agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation. His own proposed legislation would give the watchdog that power, and he says the watchdog would be too weak without it.