Ralegan Siddhi: Social activist Anna Hazare who is on an indefinite fast demanding the appointment of Lokpal and Lokayuktas, has asked his supporters to file a defamation case against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) spokesperson Nawab Malik for levelling allegations against him of taking money to sit for a hunger strike. Also Read - 'Thank God He Didn't Ask to Light Lamps & Clang Utensils': Shiv Sena, NCP Slam PM Modi's Lockdown Extension Speech

Hazare said, “If a senior leader of some political party (Nawab Malik) says that I have taken money from someone to start a hunger strike, then he should explain who I took it from. I have asked my workers to file a defamation suit against him.” Also Read - BMC Circular, Directing That Bodies of COVID-19 Patients Only be Cremated, Withdrawn

He added, “Over 88 blocks in Maharashtra are protesting and supporting us in our movement. However, the government is trying to interfere as they want us to stop.” Also Read - 'No Such Proposal Before us,' Maharashtra CM Counters NCP on 5% Reservation For Muslims in Educational Institutes

Malik had alleged that the anti-corruption crusader takes money from advocates to sit on protests and go on hunger strikes. Thereafter, Hazare refused to meet NCP leaders who were supposed to meet him on Thursday.

Hazare has been protesting since January 30 against the Centre and the Maharashtra government for not setting up a Lokpal at the Centre and Lokayukta in the state. It must be noted that the Devendra Fadnavis Cabinet on Tuesday decided to bring the office of Maharashtra Chief Minister under the jurisdiction of Lokayukta.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra Minister Girish Mahajan, who has been acting as an emissary between the government and the activist, has urged Hazare to cancel the agitation, claiming that almost all the demands made by the activist have been fulfilled.

Hazare has, however, said he would not call off the agitation till the Lokayukta Act becomes a reality.

As per provisions of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act, 2013, a Lokpal – an anti-corruption authority or ombudsman – would be set up at the Central level, while a Lokayukta will be set up in each state.