Kolkata: Asserting that public support was still with Anna Hazare, former Karnataka lokayukta N Santosh Hedge on Wednesday said it would be wrong on the part of the government to take the anti-graft movement lightly as the head count in the protest has fallen since last year.
"I have read some of the sarcastic statements of some of the ministers in the newspapers. It seems that they have taken this anti-corruption movement very lightly as the common people rallying at the protest programme have come down since last year," Hedge said, on the sidelines of a CII seminar.
Hedge however argued that the number of common people rallying behind Anna Hazare's campaign might be lower than last year but the noble cause of the movement could not be wished away.
Santosh Hedge said it would be wrong on the part of the government to take the anti-graft movement lightly.
"We agree that the numbers have come down in Annaji's rallies (hunger strike). The media can play the numbers all day, but nobody can take out the noble cause for which the movement is going on," he said.
The condition of Team Anna members, who are on a fast over the last eight days, deteriorated Wednesday, even as they hardened their stand on not negotiating with the government over the Jan Lokpal Bill, despite a missive from the Delhi Police that they be hospitalised over their worsening health.
The health of Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai, who sat on their hunger strike July 25, gave cause for concern to doctors attending them and they advised that the fasting activists be taken to hospital.
When asked about the issue of both Anna Hazare and his team members not being able to stand a single word of criticism or dissent, Hedge said: "So far as I am concerned I feel that if I criticise somebody, others have the right to criticise me."
"But I have an issue with the way Anna and his team members are being depicted in a comical manner by the media," he said.
When asked about the future of the Anna movement, Hedge said: "You will see in the days to come. The country will see in the days to come."