Thursday, December 22, 2011

Anna Hazare dubs Lokpal bill as 'very weak'; dares Sonia for public debate: ToI

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Setting the stage for a confrontation with the government, Anna Hazare rejected the Lokpal bill introduced in Parliament, saying it is "very weak" and dared Congress chief Sonia Gandhi for a public debate on the proposed legislation.

Soon after the bill was introduced in Lok Sabha, Hazare said in Ralegan Siddhi that the new bill is "very weak and useless" and it will not help in tackling corruption as it does not bring CBI under the control of anti-graft ombudsman.

"This government is incapable of tackling corruption. Why are they scared of giving away CBI? If CBI is under Lokpal's control, they fear that there will be a line of ministers going to jail," Hazare told reporters.

Hazare said the new Bill is of no use if the anti- corruption ombudsman does not have control over CBI and the lower bureaucracy is not brought under its direct control.

"Sonia Gandhi says the bill is strong. If it is so, let her come out and debate with us in front of media. Let people see it. Let us have a face to face debate. Convince the people of the country that it is strong. We will explain how it is not strong," he said earlier in the day.

"What is right and wrong with the bill, let us debate in public," he said.

Hazare's remarks came as a response to Gandhi's speech at Congress Parliamentary Party meeting yesterday during which she said the proposed legislation was strong and she was ready to fight for it.

Continuing his attack on the government, Hazare said he will go ahead with his three-day fast from December 27 in Mumbai and then leave for Delhi to join the 'jail bharo' agitation during which he will protest outside the residences of Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Describing the bill as "anti-people and dangerous", Hazare's close aide Arvind Kejriwal said in Ghaziabad (UP) it was "worse" than the legislation introduced in August in Lok Sabha.

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