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Updated: December 15, 2011 18:35 IST

Hazare wants Mamata to put in a good word on Lokpal

PTI
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Social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday urged Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to pressurise UPA on Lokpal issue as she did on FDI in retail. File photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar
The Hindu Social activist Anna Hazare on Wednesday urged Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to pressurise UPA on Lokpal issue as she did on FDI in retail. File photo: Shiv Kumar Pushpakar

Anna Hazare on Wednesday found fault with government for bringing a separate Citizens’ Charter bill saying it was against the assurance given by Parliament to him and urged Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee to pressurise UPA on Lokpal issue as she did on FDI in retail.

“Citizens’ Charter should not be brought as a separate law. Now that Parliament has made its decision why should a second thought be given. This is not right,” he told reporters.

His comments came as Team Anna’s Core Committee met here to chalk out its future plans, including the proposed Ramlila Maidan agitation, if a strong Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

Mr. Hazare chaired the meeting which is expected to take a final call on his decision to go on an indefinite fast from December 27.

“On Tuesday there was a Cabinet meeting to discuss Lokpal. During the meeting the Cabinet discussed making Citizens’ Charter a separate law which I think is completely wrong,” he said ahead of the meeting.

“It is wrong because when I was fasting at Ramlila Ground, the Prime Minister had written a letter asking me to end the fast assuring that the three crucial points -- inclusion of Citizens’ Charter, lower bureaucracy and state Lokayuktas -- will be part of the Bill and Parliament agreed to it,” he said.

Mr. Hazare said the decision to make a separate law was not right after Parliament taking a decision on the issue. “This means Parliament was not trusted. It was Parliament that voted for the resolution and then they say Anna has no trust in Parliament. It is they who do not trust Parliament.”

Mr. Hazare requested “behen” (sister) Mamata Banerjee to “put a good word forward” for Lokpal so that corruption is eradicated to some extent as her decision on FDI protected many small traders.

“She (Mamata) has done a wonderful thing in case of FDI for the country. Her decision protected many small traders.

Our request is that the country which is facing such huge threat of corruption should get Lokpal that may eradicate 60-70 per cent of the menace if not 100 per cent.

“Our request to ‘behen’ Mamata is that you should also put a good word forward for Lokpal so that corruption is eradicated to some extent,” Hazare said.

The two-day Core Committee, chaired by Mr. Hazare, comes soon after the activist’s day-long fast to protest against the “watered-down” report on Lokpal Bill by the Parliamentary Standing Committee.

The Core Committee is also likely to discuss how to go ahead with their campaign in the five poll-bound state if situation warrants.

Sources said the Core Committee will also deliberate on the mode of Ramlila agitation like whether Hazare should sit on a fast or not and how to mobilise support for the protest, which will be held during the height of winter.

There are also concerns about Mr. Hazare’s health and all these factors will be considered while deciding on the protest mode, sources said.

Mr. Hazare has stepped up attack on government on the issue bringing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on direct line of fire, saying the former does not take any decision and the latter watering down the proposals.

Congress has been insisting that Hazare should wait till Parliament passes the bill before going on a protest.

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