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Team Hazare claims people's vote for draft

delhi Updated: Aug 02, 2011 01:39 IST
Nagendar Sharma
Nagendar Sharma
Hindustan Times
Nagendar Sharma

Anti-corruption-activist-Anna-Hazare-social-activist-Arvind-Kejriwal-Kiran-Bedi-and-Prashant-Bhushan-are-seen-during-a-press-conference-in-New-Delhi

Civil rights activist Anna Hazare's team on Monday claimed the support of over 85% people for its version of the lokpal bill in telecom minister Kapil Sibal's Chandni Chowk constituency on Monday.

The claim was promptly rubbished by the minister and the Congress party.

Ahead of introduction of the bill in Parliament this week, Hazare and his team released the interim result of what they called a 'referendum' in Sibal's Lok Sabha constituency. They described Sibal as the "face of the government on the lokpal bill". http://www.hindustantimes.com/images/HTPopups/020811/02_08_pg1a.jpg

"We've heard about his survey. He (Hazare) could contest the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014 from Chandni Chowk. The truth will clearly come out then," said Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari.

Hazare's colleague Arvind Kejriwal said volunteers of NGO India Against Corruption (IAC) had distributed 4 lakh referendum forms in Chandni Chowk.

"The results of 72,000 forms has so far been compiled. We had asked the people to respond to eight important issues of divergence between the government and us. More than 85% of the people have favoured our provisions," Kejriwal said.

The final result from the remaining forms would be declared soon.

"The trend, however, appears to be irreversible. It seems to be heading in the same direction," Kejriwal said.

The exercise however, left many questions unanswered. Sceptics were quick to ask why the result was declared in a hurry when most of the forms were still to be collected.

Besides, they wondered if it was appropriate for the activists to declare the result themselves.

"They are being very modest. I think they are doing injustice to themselves. I am surprised at how it is not 100%," said Sibal.

Hazare and team have decided to intensify agitation ahead of the veteran's indefinite fast from August 16.

"On August 9, we have decided to tear copies of the government's version of the lokpal bill throughout the country and on the 15th - Independence Day - we will appeal to the public to switch off their lights between 8pm and 9pm," the IAC said.