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Updated: August 5, 2011 11:14 IST

Government draft a joke on the nation, Hazare tells PM

Gargi Parsai
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Civil Society activist Anna Hazare stood firm on his threat to go on indefinite fast from August 16 and termed the Govt draft Lokpal Bill is a joke to the nation. File photo
The Hindu Civil Society activist Anna Hazare stood firm on his threat to go on indefinite fast from August 16 and termed the Govt draft Lokpal Bill is a joke to the nation. File photo

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Monday dubbed the government's draft Lokpal bill as “weak and full of loopholes” and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to bring in Parliament the Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by civil society members.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Mr. Hazare renewed his threat to go on indefinite fast. He said: “We are willing to go through the parliamentary procedure. But at least your government should bring a strong and effective Lokpal Bill in Parliament or else I will have no other option but to go on indefinite fast from August 16 as I had stated when I broke my fast in April.”

Mr. Hazare charged the government with lack of political will to come out with a strong and effective Lokpal Bill. He said the government draft was a “joke” played on the nation. “None of the scams that the nation is witnessing today are covered under the government's Bill. We are today at the same place from where we started.”

Referendum

Releasing the letter to the media at a press conference here, members of the civil society said there would be a referendum on the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Chandni Chowk parliamentary constituency represented by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on July 21 “as he represents the face of the government.” In particular, voters would be asked if they wanted the Prime Minister, the higher judiciary and all government employees and not just Grade A officers to be included under the proposed Lokpal.

Mr. Hazare said the Centre and the States were pointing fingers at each other to avoid a strong institution to fight corruption. “Why is the government hesitating to make a single law to set up Lokpal and Lokayuktas [for States] when the matter is in the Concurrent List? Will people have to wait for years to get rid of corruption in the States? Where should the aam admi go with his complaints of corruption?''

Referring to reported statements by some leaders and Ministers that his protest would meet the same fate as that of yoga guru Ramdev, he said it was “not right” for anyone to talk like that as it was one's fundamental right to protest.

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said if they were denied permission for their protest in August, they would approach the Supreme Court.

Asked if he felt parliamentarians would pass a Bill conceived by the civil society, Mr. Hazare said, “Parties may oppose a strong anti-corruption law but I have faith in the people, who are supreme.”

Member of the core team Kiran Bedi said a sample survey in Mumbai showed that 95 per cent people wanted a strong anti-corruption law and wanted the higher judiciary and the Prime Minister to be covered.

Swami Agnivesh sought to question Dr. Singh's honesty, saying that he was elected to the Rajya Sabha after being shown as a resident of Assam, whereas he belonged to Punjab.

Arvind Kejriwal said the civil society members had proposed a nationwide referendum on the Jan Lokpal Bill versus the Lokpal Bill, which was rejected by the government.

HoW CAN A bunch of thieving Congress politicians be allowed to police itself? That is the biggest joke that a country can put on itself. I am not surprised that Sibal and his cronies are suddenly only intersetd in passing a bill that will protect them from any challenges to their honesty and protect others like them all across in Indian political corridor. WE must make sure that the next agitation is not the kind we give up because the Government will put in place extreme pressure tactics to defuse the agitation. We cannot leave Governence to these Mafia.

from:  Rajesh
Posted on: Jul 23, 2011 at 02:28 IST

The Lokpal bill drafted by government is nothing but ways to hide the vast corruption. If we people of India leave the bill to be drafted by Government( Politicians), it is like asking a thief to tell us how to stop robbery. Anna should lead the country and get independance for the nation from the corrupt people ruling the nation and states.

from:  lakhmi
Posted on: Jul 23, 2011 at 01:26 IST

Mr.SK Jain who calling Mr Anna a senile is an congress worker. People of country knows very well what is motive of UPA Govt. In its mainfesto congress addresed the people of country that it brings black money back in country within hundred of days. What happened till date. Anna is fauji/soldier who has fought for country in Indo-China war and he is person who started first campaign for Right to Inforamtion Act - 2005. Mr. Anna is young man of 75 years and represent most honest persons of Country like Kiran Badi, Santhosh H and Mr. SK Jain you are became senile in young age. Shame on you calling a fauji and Today's Gandhi a senile.

from:  Sudeep Sharma
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 23:38 IST

For 60 odd years succesive governments have not been able to curb corruption. Our country men have been deliberately kept illiterate, poor, divided on religious and caste lines. There is no choice but for the people of India to overthrow such government. The ballot unfortunately is being seen as ineffective in curbing this menace - since politicians across the spectrum have proven to be the same. An Egypt like uprising is required.

from:  S Shekhar
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 21:25 IST

It seems like SK Jain is a person paid by congress. He uses language of a learned man but is portraying himself as an idiot.

from:  Balaswami
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 20:20 IST

As mentioned by someone else I feel that current bill is 'jokepal bill'. If government wants to win some credibility then they should pass the jan lokpal bill. This is a direct question on integrity of our so called honest Prime minister.

from:  Balaswami
Posted on: Jul 22, 2011 at 20:17 IST

We are seeing what happens when agencies directly under the government investigate alleged corruption in the government departments. When corruption on a grand scale is alleged to have been taking place in a ministry for years and two ministers who were consecutively in charge of the ministry were made to quit, the investigating agency didn't find it necessary that the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister should be questioned about what they knew about what has been going on in the said ministry for over 7 years. When there was a case of alleged bribing of opposition MPs to get their votes in the government's favour, the investigating agency never questioned the Prime Minister or any other minister on the subject. The agency took it for granted that the government is in no way connected with the alleged bribery. Anna Hazare and his fellow activsts know what they are talking about. Don't ignore them!

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Jul 19, 2011 at 09:50 IST

It is not understood as to why the Government is so afraid of bringing the lokpal bill in forceful way to enable to coming generation to get justice and fight against the handful corrupt people due to which the entire nation's image is being damaged. To fight against the corruption which has freezed its roots so deep that a common citizen finds difficult even to take easy breath.

from:  Om Prakash Soni
Posted on: Jul 19, 2011 at 09:16 IST

govt must agree to lokpal bill. As the social leader Anna Hazare says, If accepted it would be a historical news in Indian politics. And it shows to world nations INDIA' is a 'DEMOCRACTIC' nation.

from:  Pavan
Posted on: Jul 19, 2011 at 02:43 IST

It is high time that some serious action as that proposed by Sri. Anna is taken. The central government is made up of, by using the representatives elected by the common man. We, as common man want the people's aspersions to be taken care of. Sri.Anna is the one standing up and representing the people and demanding for this Lokpal bill. PM and all others are serving the people. This Government of UPA-II is covering up all the misdeeds of its constituent parties. All the persons involved in each and every scam should be brought to books and punished according to the law of the land. We,as individual Indians, stand behind Sri.Anna and we want a comprehensive bill that will give sufficient power to the Lokpal,to punish the wrongdoer, with the least possible delay.We are sure that Justices of the calibre of the present CJ of India, will not allow the recently unearthed scams perpetrators to go unpunished.

from:  Shyam.
Posted on: Jul 19, 2011 at 00:12 IST

Truly said the goverment bill is not a lokpal bill but a 'jokepal' bill, having nothing in it. Goverment bill is only made to safe guard the interest of the politicians, where on the otherhand common people has been abandoned in this Lokpal draft prepared by the goverment. Its useless to bring that bill in parliament for discussion as it has nothing to discuss in it.

from:  Rajat
Posted on: Jul 19, 2011 at 00:09 IST

Can the Govt, which can rightfully take credit for the recent economic upliftment, not equally open its eyes to the misery of the common man? Why not put their immense experience and wisdom to do good for the ordinary man, who looks up to the political leaders for help? Surely the Govt can bring the same benefits to the poorest 50% of the nation that they have already brought to the rich business classes? Would that not make their service to the nation truly glorious? Bribery and corruption is endemic in India, and is not confined to any one section of the community, or political party. So why don't ALL POLITICAL PARTIES UNITE ON THIS ISSUE to minimise if not eradicate, this scourge from society, save all citizens - rich and poor - from daily suffering and indignity, and at the same time help rehabilitate the national morals and values for CURRENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS, including their own?

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Jul 18, 2011 at 23:03 IST

What MAHATMA GANDHI might have said: "If a State is corrupt and many of its laws governing the conduct of a person are positively inhuman, if its administrators are capricious and regulated by nothing but their own whims and fancies and form an almost but extremely powerful corporation, if the system of government is based upon a MERCILESS EXPLOITATION OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, then loyalty to a State so corrupt is a sin, disloyalty a virtue." (Young
India, Mar 1930). [my capitals] "You assist an administration most effectively by obeying its orders and decrees. An evil administration never deserves such allegiance. Allegiance to it means partaking of the evil. A good man will, therefore, resist an evil system of administration with his whole SOUL." (Young India, Mar 1930) [my capitals]

from:  D Mahapatra
Posted on: Jul 18, 2011 at 22:48 IST

How can a govt.bathed in corruption can go for an anti corruption movement. It is the people who are supreme should teach a lesson to the present govt. about a sound administration

from:  TR Subramanian
Posted on: Jul 18, 2011 at 22:26 IST

It appears that Anna Hazare is predetermined to go on fast no matter what kind of Lokpal draft is presented in Parliament. Anna and his team appears more interested to carry on their show rather than Lokpal Bill. How can you decide to go on fast when draft has not even been discussed? With his daily incoherent and unreasonable uttering, Anna has either gone senile with the age or parroting what is being tutored to him. A movement which had gathered nation's attention, can not be hijacked by senile and or an 'interested' group. Anna is only a Mukhota as others are trying to use him.

from:  SK Jain
Posted on: Jul 18, 2011 at 22:01 IST
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