Congress president and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi has assured anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare that the lokpal bill, which the latter is struggling for, would be passed in the budget session of Parliament.
Gandhi's letter assumes significance in the light of the fact that Hazare is scheduled to launch his nationwide tour on Gandhi Jayanti, January 30, from Patna. It is for the first time that the Congress president has opened a channel with Hazare after he undertook agitation on the issue.
In her letter, which was faxed on Saturday, Gandhi said the Lok Sabha had passed the lokpal bill in December 2011 but it could not be presented in the Rajya Sabha.Hazare, on his part, was guarded. He said he would try to unite the farmers of the country. "I will continue my nationwide tour for the next one and a half years and will launch a satyagraha in Delhi before the Lok Sabha elections," Hazare said.
Sources close to Hazare said retired army chief VK Singh was present at Ralegan Siddhi when Hazare received the letter from the Congress president. Singh came to Ralegan Siddhi to review the preparations for Hazare's tour.