Govt should withdraw lokpal bill: Team Hazare tells Par panel | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Govt should withdraw lokpal bill: Team Hazare tells Par panel

delhi Updated: Aug 10, 2011 23:30 IST
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Anna Hazare and his team on Wednesday appeared before a Parliamentary committee and demanded that the lokpal bill in its present form be withdrawn so that the government can come with a fresh measure.

Hazare told reporters after the meeting that though the decision of the Parliamentary Committee to study the jan lokpal bill along with the government legislation was a "good thing", he would continue with his August 16 indefinite fast if the panel did not take a decision by that date.

"My fast is against the government and not Parliament," he said.

However, the Gandhian did not say whether he and his team told the committee during the two-and-a-half hour meeting that the government should include prime minister, high judiciary and conduct of MPs inside Parliament within the ambit of the bill.

A member of Hazare's core team Swami Agnivesh created a flutter by saying they were "very very flexible" on issues like bringing Prime Minister or higher judiciary under the ambit of the ombudsman, but stuck to the point of including lower bureaucracy in it.

Senior lawyer Shanti Bhushan, his son Prashant, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal and former IPS officer Kiran Bedi accompanied Hazare to the Committee on Personnel and Law Justice to put forth their views on the government lokpal bill.

The lokpal bill, introduced in Lok Sabha on August 4, has been referred to the Standing Committee on August 8 by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari who has given it three months to give recommendations.

Prashant Bhushan and Kejriwal said they asked the Committee to recommend to the government to withdraw the lokpal bill.

"The bill is designed to deter complainants from making complaints against corruption. It is designed to harass NGOs which are raising voice against corruption in government," Bhushan said.