As the government prepares to table the controversial lokpal bill in Parliament, Anna Hazare on Tuesday exhorted MPs to prevent its introduction contending that the legislation cleared by the cabinet was "anti-poor" and an affront to parliamentarians.
In an open letter to MPs, Hazare said it was regrettable that many issues which were addressing common man's persisting concerns on corruption have been "totally overlooked" in the bill cleared by the cabinet last Thursday.
"While there are many important issues in the lokpal I write to focus and highlight the plight of the common man yet again being left out. It is my hope that the institution of the Parliament will continue to uphold its glorious heritage and prevent introduction of such an anti-poor bill by the government," he said.
He said introducing such a "defectively structured" bill was an "affront" to the Parliamentarians, who do not have the option of debating some of the critical issues that he had raised for a strong anti-corruption legislation.
In the letter, he said he and his team have been demanding inclusion of Prime Minister, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament under the ambit of Lokpal.
The Hazare team was also demanding a strong public grievance redressal mechanism, lokayuktas at state-level and independent selection, funding and removal mechanism to ensure autonomy of function.
Hazare said like many of the MPs, he has been serving the country to strengthen democracy at the grassroots.
Claiming that he has seen from "very close quarters" how corruption hurts the poor most, he said it was only to protect their interests that he volunteered to be a part of the joint drafting committee.
The lokpal bill cleared by the cabinet seeks to keep the office of the Prime Minister outside the purview of the ombudsman during his term in office and also exclude higher judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament.
The lokpal, consisting of chairperson and eight members, half of them judicial, will have its own prosecution and investigation wing with officers and staff necessary to carry out its functions.