A day after the first meeting of the joint drafting committee on the Lokpal Bill, anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare said on Sunday he would accept the decision of Parliament even if it rejects the highly publicised legislation.
The softening of the tough stand he had taken against the political class comes after the first meeting between his team and government representatives went off without a hitch on Saturday. Hazare also appeared flexible on the August 15 deadline he had set for the government to get the bill passed in Parliament.
In response to a question on what would his stand be in case of Parliament rejecting the Lokpal Bill, being jointly drafted by the civil society activists and the government, Hazare told reporters, “We’ll have to accept it. We believe in democracy.”
On the August 15 deadline, he said: “There can be some flexibility once we are convinced that the bill is on the right track.”
Hazare, however, did add that it was possible for Parliament to decide on the bill within a month of its introduction. The Gandhian agreed his method of agitation could be called “terrorism of principles” but it was driven by greater public good.
“It is not wrong to say that we are engaging in terrorism on principles,” he said.
“But it has to have an element of public welfare in it. This is necessary otherwise it will lead to dictatorship,” Hazare added. Hazare also said he was open to consulting political leaders on the bill.