Govt draft of Lokpal bill a joke: Anna
Terming corruption as a heinous crime comparable to murder and rape, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his team on Monday slammed the Centre's version of the graft bill, saying it was "joke on the nation".delhi Updated: Jul 19, 2011 01:39 IST
Terming corruption as a heinous crime comparable to murder and rape, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his team on Monday slammed the Centre's version of the graft bill, saying it was "joke on the nation".
Hazare set himself on course for a fresh round of confrontation with the government by making it clear to the Prime Minister in a three-page letter that he would go ahead with his indefinite fast from August 16, despite what he termed as "obstacles" being put by the Delhi Police.
The Congress immediately hit back, demanding an explanation from Hazare about the Justice PB Sawant committee report of 2005, which had indicted a trust which he was associated with in a graft case.
"People who hold the mirror of morality to the whole country should also see their faces in the same mirror. Many people have asked what Hazare has to say on the remarks by Justice Sawant in his report," said party spokesperson, Manish Tewari.
In his letter to the PM, Hazare said the Centre had no option but to take strong steps to curb corruption.
"The government's draft prepared by the five ministers in the joint drafting committee is a joke played on the nation. The scope of the draft is so confined that it does not address the corruption faced by common man," Hazare wrote.
Referring to reported statements by some leaders and ministers that his protest will meet the same fate as that of yoga guru Ramdev, Hazare said he was ready to face any situation.
Hazare team member and lawyer Prashant Bhushan said their team had written to the Delhi Police seeking permission for the fast at Jantar Mantar, to which the police had replied with ‘unrealistic' conditions.
"We are still in talks with the Delhi Police, in case we find that they are not willing to give us permission for a peaceful protest, we will be forced to move the Supreme Court," Bhushan said.
His colleague Arvind Kejriwal said they would hold a referendum in telecom minister Kapil Sibal's Chandni Chowk constituency between July 21 to 24 on the Lokpal bill. "He is the Centre's face of Lokpal. So we decided to hold the referendum in his constituency," he said.
There will be eight questions, including whether the PM should be brought under Lokpal. We expect the result in two-three days time," he said.
First Published: Jul 18, 2011 20:54 IST