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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

Anna Hazare thanks Rahul for lokpal commitment; fast enters 8th day

Agencies  New Delhi, December 17, 2013
First Published: 11:11 IST(17/12/2013) | Last Updated: 00:34 IST(18/12/2013)

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi has assured social activist Anna Hazare that he is committed to provide a strong lokpal to the nation.

"We are committed to provide a strong lokpal system to the country," Rahul Gandhi said in a letter to Anna Hazare that was released to the media on Tuesday.

"We respect your (Anna Hazare's) role and are grateful for your support," said Gandhi while replying to Anna's letter that was issued on Sunday.

Hazare has thanked Gandhi for his "commitment" to the passage of the lokpal bill in Parliament, while demanding inclusion of recommendations of the select committee in the bill.

"The country awaits a strong Lokpal," Hazare said in the letter to Rahul, dated December 15 and released to media on Tuesday.

READ: Hazare, Rahul exchange letters on Lokpal

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"I welcome your commitment to get the Bill passed in Parliament. Please ensure that the points approved by the select committee are also incorporated in the bill," Hazare, whose indefinite fast for passage of the jan lokpal bill entered the eighth day on Tuesday, said.

"Besides these points, if Parliament includes other additional effective points, it will be in the interest of the country," Hazare wrote.

Kiran Bedi, former IPS officer and a key member of erstwhile Team Anna, said, "Anna has sent a letter of gratitude to Congress and BJP, that is to Rahul Gandhi and Arun Jaitley for recognising the urgency of passing the lokpal bill."

Meanwhile, Hazare's aide Suresh Pathare said on Tuesday that the Gandhian's condition has deteriorated. "Anna has lost a lot of weight since the fast began on December 10," he said.

While the veteran anti-corruption crusader praised the amended draft lokpal bill presented in the Rajya Sabha, his one time protege Arvind Kejriwal dismissed it as "Jokepal".

Hazare said, "I accept it completely. If this bill is passed, I will end my fast. The bill will help the poor people of this country."

Kejriwal has expressed his opposition to the bill and Hazare's acceptance. "I'm really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari lokpal bill? Sarkari lokpal is a 'jokepal'. Who is misguiding him ?," he asked.

Hazare has requested the Samajwadi Party to extend support to the bill. "I am confident that all the parties will support it and it will be passed," he said.

Read More: Rajya Sabha likely to debate lokpal bill on Tuesday

(With inputs from PTI, IANS)


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