Lokpal Bill row: BJP asks Govt. not to make a ‘prestige issue’April 5th, 2011 - 8:30 pm ICT by ANI
New Delhi, Apr 5 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday made an appeal to veteran social activist Anna Hazare to end his indefinite fast unto death over the Lokpal Bill, and asked the government to incorporate necessary changes in the proposed anti-corruption legislation so that it is more effective, and not make it a ‘prestige issue’.
“The Lokpal Bill should become an effective and credible instrument for fighting corruption among bureaucrats and those in power. The entire country is today waiting for effective action against the cancer of corruption. The wish of the people should be respected,” said BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad.
“Anna Hazare is a respected leader. We appeal to him to end his fast,” he added.
Further demanding that the Centre convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, the BJP leader said: “The Lokpal Bill has to be credible. Many good suggestions can be incorporated. Government should not make it a prestige issue.”
Anna Hazare started his indefinite fast unto death today to press for the demand to involve civil society in formulation of the anti-graft Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill.
Hazare visited Rajghat this morning before proceeding to Jantar Mantar via India Gate to start the protest.
Talking to reporters here, Hazare said that he was saddened when the Prime Minister rejected the demand by leading civil society members to include them and senior ministers in the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill.
Earlier, Hazare said that the government which is corrupt in every way, will not succeed in stopping this law from passed and that he would leave no stone unturned to achieve this.
“I have dedicated my life for the service of my nation. I have not gone to my own house from the last 35 years. I want that poor people should get justice. I want the money back, which we are losing out to corruption. And this government is aiding all the corrupt people,” he added.
The Lokpal Bill (Ombudsman Bill), 2010, which awaits a select parliamentary committee’s nod, provides for filing complaints of corruption against the Prime Minister, ministers and lawmakers.
Hazare contended that the Lokpal Bill, in its present form, is useless and has drafted a separate Jan Lokpal bill (Public Ombudsman Bill), taking into account the views and suggestions from civil society and common people.
Hazare is a member of the ‘India Against Corruption’, an NGO that includes several eminent social activists including Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh fighting against corruption. (ANI)
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