PUNE: Social crusader Anna Hazare said that he would soon conduct a countrywide agitation against the present format of the land acquisition bill.
About 47 social and farmers' organizations from 10 states attended a meeting presided over by Hazare in the city on Sunday.
Hazare said the attendees resolved to intensify the agitation in the coming months. "The protests will be in the form of jail-bharo, morcha or hunger strike... but it will be held on a single day across the country, right from Delhi to villages. Extensive participation of farmers will be the highlight of the agitation," said Hazare while speaking to media after the meeting.
Hazare said a meeting of farmers' organizations will be held in Delhi soon to finalize the format of the agitation. The Gandhian has been opposing the land acquisition bill, calling it anti-farmer and pro-industry.
Hazare also said that he was ready for discussion with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the bill. "We are ready for an open debate with the PM on television. If the government is right and agitators are saying wrong things... and if there is a doubt about this, then there is need for an open debate," Hazare said.
"Farmers are opposing various provisions of the bill because they harm their interests. However, agitations are happening only at local levels. The time has come to join hands and oppose the government's false claim that it has made changes in the bill. The format (of the bill) remains the same. Only words have been altered," Hazare claimed.
He asked the protesters and farmers to use the next 2-3 months to cement their claim before the next Parliament session begins. "I will hold rallies in different states during this period and will speak with farmers over the format of the bill. After the rallies we will hold a day-long countrywide agitation," said Hazare.
Meanwhile, Hazare congratulated the Maharashtra government on its recent announcement to close some toll nakas. He also applauded the government's 'Jalayukta Shivar' programme which aims at strengthening water sources at village-level.