Minor scuffle at Jantar Mantar as a group of suspected NSUI activists shout slogans against Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal
Responding to Law Minister Salman Khurshid’s statement that if Team Anna did not have faith in the apex court, it could approach the United Nations, Team Anna member Manish Sisodia on Wednesday said it was their right to get an effective Lokpal law. “The law will be made in the country. It is our right. There is no need to involve any international forum.” While Team Anna members reiterated their corruption charges against 15 Cabinet Ministers and the Prime Minister to press for an independent probe, Mr. Khurshid ridiculed the demand saying they were raising issues that had been rejected by the Supreme Court. Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Gopal Rai and Mr. Sisodia began their indefinite hunger strike on Wednesday.
Panel examining Bill
Refuting Team Anna’s charge that the government was not keen on getting the Lokpal Bill passed in Parliament, Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said the proposed legislation was being examined by a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha.
Lot of discussion: Soni
“The Bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha. It was brought to the Rajya Sabha, which is mandatory. There were over 185 amendments. There was so much discussion. It could not be passed,” she said, adding that the Bill was referred to a select committee as the government wanted it to be powerful and complete.
Meanwhile, Team Anna alleged that some members of the National Students Union of India (NSUI) had tried to disrupt their meeting at Jantar Mantar and had to be removed.
“This is a decisive fight,” said activist Anna Hazare, addressing the gathering. He said he will join the fast after four days if the government fails to set up an independent Special Investigation Team to probe charges against 14 Ministers.
Mr. Kejriwal said it was “unfortunate” that the former Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, who was among the list of Ministers charged with misdemeanour, enjoys immunity from probes and investigations as President.