Unhappy with the Standing Committee's draft of the Lokpal Bill, activist Anna Hazare has reiterated his threat to launch an indefinite agitation, if a strong Bill is not passed in the ongoing Parliament session.
Mr. Hazare said he would observe a fast on December 11 to push for his demand. After this, an indefinite agitation would be launched at the Ramlila Maidan if the demand was not met in the session that ends on December 22.
“It is clear from the Standing Committee draft that the government is cheating people,” he said.
The committee had not included the lower bureaucracy and the CBI in the Lokpal's ambit. “This is in spite of the fact that the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave us in writing that three demands would be accepted,” he said.
In August, Dr. Singh assured Mr. Hazare that Parliament agreed “in principle” with the demands of formulation of a citizens' charter, inclusion of the lower bureaucracy under the Lokpal through an appropriate mechanism and stablishment of lokayukta in all States. Inclusion of the lower bureaucracy was the only way to root out corruption. “This is an attempt to weaken the Lokpal. This will not help the common man at all, who is suffering everyday,” he said.
There would be “no compromise” on bringing the CBI under the Lokpal. “The government is trying to break the Lokpal in several parts. But by doing so, they are not strengthening any laws. If they want a separate body for the CBI, they can do so. But is the government ready to appoint experts to draft a strong Bill and make an independent body,” he asked.
Mr. Hazare said he would tour the five poll-bound States and tell people that the government was betraying them on the issue.
According to reports, the Standing Committee had not yet taken a decision on including the Prime Minister. The draft would be discussed in Parliament on Wednesday.
Mr. Hazare said the decision to include NGOs and the media in the ambit of the Lokpal reflected the government's double standards.