Anna thanks government, voices happiness with the Lokpal bill
Hazare’s fast continue on Sixth day, Kejriwal unhappy over the Lokpal bill, calls it ‘weak’
Ralegan Siddhi: Rubbishing Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal’s contention that the Lokpal bill under consideration in Parliament was weak, Anna Hazare today said “if anyone feels there are shortcomings in the bill after it is passed, they should fast for it.”
“I have read the provisions of the bill properly. If you (Kejriwal) think the bill has any shortcomings, fast for it,” Hazare, whose fast for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill entered sixth day today, said while talking to reporters here.
The anti-graft crusader said several of his expectations from the legislation have been met and he expressed satisfaction over the bill which has been presented in the Rajya Sabha.
“Three issues for which we had campaigned in the past, including Citizen’s Charter, are also being addressed,” he said.
Asked about the differences between him and Kejriwal, Hazare said, “I don’t wish to comment…Why should we quarrel?”
“The government’s control over CBI has been removed in this bill. I saw 13 such points and told the government that I welcome this,” Hazare said.
“That is why I thought that the bill is beneficial to the people and country,” he added. “I told the government that I am thankful for tabling the bill in Rajya Sabha. Bring it in both the Houses in this session itself. If needed, extend the tenure of Parliament,” he said.
“However, I am confident that this need may not arise as people are saying that the bill would be the first thing to be taken up in Rajya Sabha tomorrow,” he said.
Thanking major political parties, including Congress and BJP, for supporting the bill, Hazare said, a few are not supporting it. “So, if there is a ruckus while passage of the bill, pass the bill amid ruckus but pass it anyhow,” he said.
“There are still five days left for the session to end. If you desire so, it can be brought in both the Houses during this period. If there is paucity of time, extend it by a few days,” he said.
“I won’t end fast till the bill is passed. I want to live for the country and fight for the country, for society. I have to take up issues like right to reject and right to recall,” he said.
Hazare has been fasting outside Yadavbaba Temple at his village since December 10. His associate Kiran Bedi said, “If some people are saying that the current Lokpal bill is weak, they haven’t read it properly. They must read it.”
As per the bill provisions, if any matter is given to CBI, the government will not interfere, she said.
“Kejriwal should reread the bill,” the former IPS officer said. “Tomorrow, I will be in Delhi, watching Rajya Sabha proceedings and inform Anna about the goings on there,” she said.
“Those who are calling the bill Jokepal have not read and understood it. They should go through the draft and then jump to conclusions,” she said.
Kejriwal calls it ‘weak lokpal’, sad over Anna’s stand
Where Anti graft crusader Anna Hazare was happy with the tabled Lokpal bill, his ‘shishya’ and convener of Aam Admi Party, Arvind Kejriwal rejected the Lokpal Bill under consideration in Rajya Sabha. Kejriwal called the bill as “weak” and ineffective and siad that nobody except Congress will be benefited by its passage while Rahul Gandhi would get the credit for it.
He also said that he was saddened by Anna Hazare’s stand that he would break his fast if the Lokpal Bill which is in the Upper House is enacted, warning that the proposed legislation will not prevent corruption but instead work to “protect the corrupt”.
He claimed that until Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was made independent, which has not been done in this Bill, there would not be a single conviction in corruption cases.
“In the past 50 years of CBI, there are only four convictions of political leaders by the agency. This is due to the fact that they report to their same political bosses against whom they probe a case.
“Had CBI been independent, then there was a possibility that even the Prime Minister might have been jailed in either 2G case or Coal scam,” the AAP leader told reporters.
The party termed the Lokpal Bill as “weak” and said it will not prevent corruption but instead work to “protect the corrupt”.
Criticizing the Bill in present form, Kejriwal said the Bill which was passed on August 11, 2011 had the provision of an independent investigating machinery for the Lokpal.
“But today, how can we accept this weak Lokpal. We will continue with our agitation for Janlokpal and make the people aware that Parliament has failed to keep its three assurances made to Hazare to break his fast,” he said.