We want strong Lokpal bill, BJP tells Team Hazare (Lead)

July 1st, 2011 - 4:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party New Delhi, July 1 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Friday assured civil society activist Anna Hazare that it was in favour of a strong Lokpal (ombudsman) bill and emphasised that members constituting the Lokpal should have impeccable credentials.

Hazare along with other civil society activists met senior BJP leaders at the party office here to talk about the differences with the government on the Lokpal bill to counter corruption in public life.

“It was a fruitful dialogue,” Hazare told mediapersons after the meeting that lasted nearly 90 minutes.

BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad were amongst those present at the meeting with Team Hazare, which included Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi.

The meeting came ahead of the July 3 all-party talks convened by the government on the Lokpal bill.

Prasad said that party leaders sought clarifications from Team Hazare on issues relating to the bill. He said leaders of the BJP-led National Democractic Alliance (NDA) leaders would meet Saturday to discuss their stance ahead of the all-party meeting.

“We assured them that we are in favour of an effective Lokpal bill,” he said.

Hazare added that Friday’s meeting was part of consultations with political parties on the key anti-corruption legislation which the government has promised to bring in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Hazare said they had been meeting leaders of political parties so that a strong Lokpal bill could be passed by parliament.

“We told them about our and government drafts and weakness (in governmentt draft)… We kept our viewpoint for a strong bill.”

Kejriwal, a key member of Team Hazare in the joint drafting committee, added that BJP leaders asked many technical points about the proposed bill.

He said BJP leaders emphasised that members of Lokpal should be of impeccable integrity.

“We appreciated their concern,” he said.

Hazare and his team are scheduled to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday.

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