India Activist Anna Hazare Leaves Hospital

Leading Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has been discharged from hospital a week after he was admitted for a chest infection.

Anna Hazare was shifted from his hometown Ralegan Siddhi to Pune's Sancheti hospital on December 31.

Leading Indian anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has been discharged from hospital a week after he was admitted for a chest infection.

The activist said he was "all right, but weak" and would take a month's break before deciding on his next course of action.

Mr Hazare fell ill after starting a hunger strike in Mumbai on 28 December and was admitted to hospital in Pune.

He was protesting against the government's anti-corruption bill.

He says the Lokpal bill, drafted by the ruling Congress party, is "useless".

The bill, which envisages setting up an independent ombudsman with the power to prosecute politicians and civil servants, was passed by parliament's lower house last month but stalled in the upper house.

The bill will now have to be taken up again in the next session of parliament.

The main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has asked President Pratibha Patil to re-convene parliament for a new vote.

'Long battle'

"I am all right now, but still feeling weak. I have to take a break as the doctors have advised rest for some days," Mr Hazare told reporters on Sunday as he left hospital.

"I will think about it [his anti-corruption campaign] after I am fully recovered," he said.

The 74-year-old activist was admitted to the Sancheti Hospital in Pune on 31 December.

Last week, Mr Hazare's aide Kiran Bedi said the activist would not campaign in upcoming state elections because of poor health.

The states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur are all going to the polls between 28 January and 3 March.

Mr Hazare and his campaigners, known as Team Anna, had pledged to oppose those parties which were not backing a strong Lokpal bill, with much of their ire directed at the Congress party.

Mr Hazare says tougher measures are required to reduce the level of corruption.

His 12-day anti-corruption hunger strike in August in Delhi became the focus of a national campaign and put pressure on the government to act on the issue.

He started his three-day fast in Mumbai last month but called it off on the second day after his health deteriorated.

The Lokpal bill was passed by the lower house of parliament after a debate of nearly 10 hours.

But the upper house was adjourned in chaos after the debate stretched to midnight and the bill was not put to a vote.

Opposition parties bitterly criticised the government for its failure to hold a vote, but the government insisted the BJP was responsible for the bill not being passed.