Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and his team on Wednesday demanded withdrawal of the lokpal bill introduced in the parliament last week. They said it will “promote corruption” instead of eradicating it.
The demand was placed before the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice, which had invited team Hazare to discuss the lokpal bill.
“We told the committee about our main objections to the bill presented by the government. It is not only weak but deters people from filing corruption-related complaints,” said lawyer Prashant Bhushan, a key member of team Hazare.
According to Hazare, the decision of the parliamentary committee to study their version of the lokpal bill along with the government's bill was a “good development”. But he said he will go ahead with his indefinite fast from August 16. "My fast is against the government and not the parliament," he added.
Hazare appeared before the parliamentary committee with former law minister Shanti Bhushan, his lawyer son Prashant, activist Arvind Kejriwal and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi. In another development, Swami Agnivesh, a core member of team Hazare, told a news channel that the issue of inclusion of Prime Minister and higher judiciary were not sticking points for them.
Responding, Bhushan said the issue was over now since the government did not accept their demand of bringing a strong lokpal bill. “The fast is not conditional on these two issues anymore,” added Bhushan.
Police suggest protest site
Anna Hazare can organise his indefinite fast, starting August 16, at Jai Prakash Narain Park in Delhi Gate, according to Delhi police. The site identified by Delhi police is adjacent to Firoz Shah Kotla ground near Shahidi Park.
Organisers of India Against Corruption said they like the venue. However, Delhi police have stated that the landowning agency of the park should permit it.