Despite the government bending over backwards to accommodate his demands, Anna Hazare remained adamant on rejecting the lokpal bill on Thursday and made it clear that he would continue his anti-Congress stance.
“This bill is absolutely weak and would even affect the states that are willing to have strong lokayuktas,” he said, challenging Congress president Sonia Gandhi — who told a Congress parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday that she would fight for the bill — to a public debate.
“Sonia Gandhi says the bill is strong. If it is so, let her come out and debate with us in front of the media… Let us have a face-to-face debate,” he said.
He said he would campaign against the Congress not just in the coming assembly polls, but also in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. For now, he will continue his fast in Mumbai from December 27.
Hazare would then come to Delhi for a 'jail bharo' campaign and protest outside the
houses of Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.
Hazare toughened his position further on the bill, especially as it did not bring the CBI under the lokpal. He said, “The government is afraid of bringing the CBI under the lokpal, as several ministers will have to be in the queue to jail…”
Hazare's attack, however, came despite many of his original demands having been accommodated in different forms.
The bill brought the Prime Minister within the ambit of the lokpal with some safeguards.