Anna Hazare, who is based for now at a protest camp at Delhi's Jantar Mantar, has wished Pranab Mukherjee for becoming the President of India. Mr Mukherjee, who quit as Finance Minister last month, was sworn in as India's 13th President yesterday.
"He has become the first citizen of India, I congratulate him," said 75-year-old Anna. His aides have begun a hunger strike against corruption. Anna has warned the government that he may join the fast on Sunday.
Yesterday, hours after Mr Mukherjee took his oath as President, Anna's aides placed a cloth over his photograph at their camp. They said this symbolised how the government had tried to shield Mr Mukherjee and 13 other senior ministers from an inquiry into alleged graft.
The accusations of corruption have been made by activists like Arvind Kejriwal, who form Anna's core group. Mr Kejriwal declared yesterday that as President, Mr Mukherjee is entitled to immunity from investigation. He would never have been able to become President if the anti-corruption Lokpal Bill had been enacted as law, he said.
On stage at Anna's camp are huge photographs of the Prime Minister, Mr Mukherjee and other ministers blacklisted by Team Anna. The activists want the government to sanction an independent inquiry against these ministers; they say they have documents to prove their complicity in different scams which have hurt the interests of the country.
They also want the government to ensure that the Lokpal Bill, the legislation designed to combat corruption among government servants, is cleared by Parliament.
The Lokpal Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in December, but has not made it through the Rajya Sabha yet. It is being studied by a parliamentary committee. Team Anna says these are delaying tactics that prove the government is not serious about fighting venality.
At Anna's camp, the turnout of visitors has been unimpressive - about 2000 people gathered there yesterday. In August, his protest at Delhi's Ram Lila Maidan drew huge audiences for 16 days while he was on a hunger strike.