Last lokpal battle of 2011 begins today
Anna Hazare will begin a three-day fast in Mumbai today morning to press for his demand for a "strong lokpal bill" and around the same time Lok Sabha will start its debate. Hazare reiterated his threat of a dharna outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi on December 30 to force the government and Parliament to come up with a bill that his team would find acceptable. HT reports. Stage is set | All ready for Anna's agitation, says state | Poll panel to keep an eye on Team Anna | In pics | Giving in, in 3 stepsdelhi Updated: Dec 27, 2011 11:06 IST
The social activist, who hasn't fully recovered from a mild bout of viral fever, reiterated his threat of a dharna outside Congress president Sonia Gandhi's residence in Delhi on December 30 to force the government and Parliament to come up with a bill that his team would find acceptable.
"Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not keeping his word (on bringing a strong anti-corruption law)," he added.
In Delhi, Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan, who will lead a separate eight-hour fats in the Capital's Ramlila ground on Tuesday, said: "In the open letter to the Prime Minister and MPs, we have asked for four changes, which are non-negotiable."
The demands are:
The CBI should come under the lokpal;
The lokpal at the Centre and the lokayuktas in the states should have the power to initiate investigations into cases of corruption even when there are no complaints;
The lokpal should be selected by consensus and not by majority decision within the selection panel; and
The lokpal should have powers to probe Group C employees.
Speaking to the media in Mumbai, Team Anna member Justice Santosh Hegde criticised the lokpal bill introduced in Parliament by the government on Thursday.
"It is worse than the bill proposed by the government in August (which had been almost universally panned as weak)," he said.
Reacting to Team Anna's barbs, Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan said: "It is wrong on Hazare's part to rush into his fast when Parliament is discussing the lokpal bill."