29 December 2011

Anna on the Backfoot: Ends Fast, Defers Jail Bharo Agitation

Social activist Anna Hazare has announced his decision to end his fast after doctors attending him advised him to do so in face of his deteriorating health. Hazare also said that jail bharoo andolan planned from January 30 will not take place at present. Hazare said that he plans to visit the five states which are going to polls in early 2011 to tell people about how the government cheated them. He further said that he would also tour the country during the national polls.

 Concerns over Anna Hazare's health mounted on Wednesday afternoon with doctors advising him to end his fast as its continuance could affect his kidneys. The 74-year-old activist's sodium and chloride levels have gone down and there are signs of dehydration but no congestion in chest or throat.

"We strongly advise discontinuing the fast as continuing it may lead to kidney failure. There is evidence of dehydration," Ashwin Mehta of city's Jaslok Hospital, who examined Hazare along with P P Lahane, Dean of JJ Hospital, said.

He said Hazare's temperature was 100 degrees, but his blood pressure dropped when standing, making it difficult for him to walk. "His BP while sitting was 120/90 and 105/70 while standing. The Gandhian's pulse rate was 71," he said.

"As doctors we have asked him to call off his fast. Now he has to take a decision," Lahane said. The social activist has been stubbornly rejecting requests by his close associates to call off his hunger strike, despite concerns about his health.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had also spoken to Hazare last night and appealed to him to end his fast.