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Updated: April 8, 2011 19:36 IST

Hazare rejects govt. offer on Lokpal panel formation

PTI
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A man dressed as Mahatma Gandhi stands at a traffic intersection in support of social activist Anna Hazare’s hunger strike against corruption, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: S. Subramanium
A man dressed as Mahatma Gandhi stands at a traffic intersection in support of social activist Anna Hazare’s hunger strike against corruption, at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Friday. Photo: S. Subramanium

Anna Hazare on Friday demanded appointment of a chairman and a co-chairman for the proposed joint committee to draft an effective Lokpal Bill and rejected the government’s offer of setting up of the committee by a letter of the Law Ministry.

He also said there should be no “tainted” Ministers in the joint committee comprising civil society members and Ministers.

Addressing his supporters at the Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, even as three of his emissaries were engaged in discussions with Union Ministers, the veteran Gandhian said his anti-corruption movement has achieved considerable success and will not cow down before the government.

“We have not accepted the government’s offer of constitution of the committee through a letter from the Law Minister. There should be a government order on behalf of the government,” he said adding this has been made clear to the emissaries for discussion with the Ministers.

He said his campaign has also demanded from the government that the committee should have a chairman and a co-chairman. “If there is a chairman from the government side then the Cabinet will have to accept the recommendations of the committee on the Bill.”

Claiming that his anti-graft movement has achieved quite a lot of success, he said the government has accepted the proposal for a joint committee and it will have five members from each side.

To the cheers of the gathering, he said, there should be no tainted Ministers in the committee.

Asked if there were five untainted ministers in the government, Hazare said “they should be least tainted“.

He said he has accepted to be a member of the committee to keep pressure on the government.

To a question he said, “We have not reached any compromise. If our chairman is there then it will be difficult for them. But if a Minister is the chairman, then the Cabinet will have to accept the recommendations. There will be no difference in powers of the chairman and the co-chairman.”

He rejected a charge that he was blackmailing the government through hunger strike and said his approach was that if the government does not listen to people, they will throw it out.

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