Pass Lokpal Bill in winter or I will fast again: Anna
Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday issued a fresh ultimatum to the government to pass a strong Jan Lokpal Bill in the winter session of Parliament, failing which he would go on an indefinite fast for the third time this year. HT reports.Back on fast track | Anna's letter to PM | Is it fair for Anna Hazare to threaten govt? Your say...delhi Updated: Nov 02, 2011 08:55 IST
Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday issued a fresh ultimatum to the government to pass a strong Jan Lokpal Bill in the winter session of Parliament, failing which he would go on an indefinite fast for the third time this year.
The government, however, expressed surprise, saying there was no need for it as the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the winter session. The session is likely to be held from November 22 to December 23.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the first after his own team was hit by controversies, Hazare, said he would not campaign against any party in the assembly elections due in five states early next year.This marks a shift in Team Anna's strategy as it had campaigned against the Congress in the Hisar bypolls last month. Hazare reminded the PM that he had merely suspended his 12-day hunger strike in August, following an assurance from Singh that a strong bill would be passed in the winter session.
"On your behalf, union minister Vilasrao Deshmukh brought a written assurance to the Ramlila Ground that the government be given time till the winter session to make a strong law to curb corruption," Hazare wrote.
"The letter containing your assurance was read to the entire nation by Deshmukh. Following this assurance, I decided to cancel my yatra of the five election-bound states. I still hope that a strong jan Lokpal Bill is coming," he wrote.
Hazare said some responsible people in the government and the Congress were, however, making remarks that create doubts about the passage of the bill.
"I will resume my hunger strike on the last day of the winter session if the Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed and the team will tour various states to educate people about the issue," the veteran activist said.
The government expressed surprise at the development.
"I do not know why they are making such statements when there is no need to compel the government for it," information and broadcasting minister Ambika Soni told reporters.
"A number of cabinet ministers and the Prime Minister himself have said that we all want to pass a powerful Lokpal Bill," she said.