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Hazare Greeted By Cheering Crowd

PTI 28 Aug 2011, 10:21:03 IST

New Delhi, Aug 28 : A roaring crowd greeted Gandhian Anna Hazare this morning at Ramlila Maidan as he emerged on the dais to break his fast. Clad in his trademark

white dhoti-kurta and Gandhi cap, Hazare came to the stage at 9:30 AM from his tent and waved to the crowds and chanted 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', 'Vande Mataram' and 'Inquilab Zindabad'.

A visibly weak 74-year-old Hazare had trouble walking as he walked, with the fast launched on August 16 for a strong Lokpal apparently a toll on his health. Sitting cross-legged and with folded hands, he listened to Mahatma Gandhi's favourite hymn 'Raghupati Raghava Rajaram' even as several children joined him on the stage.

He was also seen chatting with his close associates Manish Sisodia and Kiran Bedi. The waiting people, some of whom were at Ramlila Maidan since last night, went ecstatic as the activist emerged on the dais.

People were waving flags and dancing to drumbeats and slogans reverberated in the air making the atmosphere festive and charged as the crowd celebrated "victory" of Hazare. "I started at around 5 AM as I wanted to ensure that I could be in the front row, so that I could witness Anna break his fast," said 37-year-old Ramesh Kumar, a resident of Ghaziabad who claims to be a die-hard Anna supporter.

Another supporter Vijay Gupta, who had come along with his family from Lucknow said, he was "happy to be part of history in making." "I am extremely happy that the government has conceded to the demand of Anna Hazare. Corruption is affecting everybody in the society and we want a very strong Lokpal Bill," he said.  PTI