Anna to meet parliamentary panel, says Lokpal Bill eyewash (Lead)

August 10th, 2011 - 2:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Anna Hazare and other civil society activists Wednesday said they would meet a parliamentary panel on the Lokpal Bill in the evening, but expected little from it as the government was not serious about tackling corruption.

“Today’s (parliamentary) standing committee meeting is more of a formality because the bill presented by the government is not worth being discussed and it will only waste the time of parliament,” Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of Team Anna, told reporters.

Hazare, along with Kejriwal and senior lawyers Prashant Bhushan and Shanti Bhushan, will meet members of the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice, personnel and public grievances at 5 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Hazare, who has arrived in Delhi for the meeting, said the government’s Lokpal Bill was only an eyewash. “The government’s Lokpal Bill is only an eyewash, they have no intention to fight corruption,” he told reporters.

The Lokpal Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha Aug 4, was sent to the parliamentary committee on law and justice, personnel and public grievances, headed by Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi. But this draft bill did not include several key suggestions made by Team Anna.

The panel invited Hazare for the discussion, a move seen as extending an olive branch.

The Lokpal Bill provides for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal, or ombudsman, to fight corruption in public office.

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