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Anna accuses PM, Rahul, PC at one-day fast

Dec 11, 2011 06:13 PM IST Politics Politics
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New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare asked the nation to join him in his fight to get a strong Lokpal as he end his one-day fast protesting against the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Lokpal Bill at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday.

The social activist also threatened to intensify his anti-corruption protests by courting arrest if the government fails to pass a law for a strong Lokpal in India.

"The government should listen to the voice of the people. Agitation will continue for a strong Lokpal," Anna said in his speech at Jantar Mantar.

Why is the Prime Minister silent: Anna

Hosting a political debate in front of thousands of supporters, Anna also launched a direct attack on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and called him weak and powerless.

"The Prime Minister wrote a letter to me saying he is ready to give powers to village panchayats but will he able to do that. He has to keep silent or his ears will be cut. He is the Prime Minister but three, four other people too think they are Prime Ministers. He is not able to take decisions and no one listens to him," Anna said.

Hazare alleged that the Prime Minister does not take a decision on 150 MPs who have criminal records. "Then how will the country progress? He has become the Prime Minister but who will take decision. He does not take decisions. That is why we want the Right to Recall act. We want the right to reject candidates and recall them if they do not perform," he said.

The Gandhian said he wrote to the Prime Minister saying that the provision that allows non-auditing of donation less than Rs 20,000 should be withdrawn. He said he was in favour of auditing of even one Rupee donation. "Bring a law in this regard," he said.

He said people should be ready to go to jail. "There should be no place in any jail in the country," he said adding, "Why are you reluctant when you get breakfast and two square meal in jail?"

Calling upon youth to join the struggle, he said, "There are unemployed youth who are roaming in the country... Go to jail for bringing in a new law."

Hazare also said attempts were made to break his team but no efforts would succeed in creating rift in his team.

Anna told the politicians - including Arun Jaitley of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Brinda Karat of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and AB Bardhan of the Communist Party of India (CPI) - to fight for a strong Lokpal inside the Parliament and force the government to pass an effective law.

The politicians earlier backed Anna on having a strong ombudsman with the prime minister under its ambit but cautioned him not to be rigid on his version of the bill.

Chidambaram behind my arrest: Anna

Anna also hit out at Home Minister P Chidambaram, accusing him of getting him arrested during his hunger strike in August. "Who was behind my arrest? Chidambaram was behind it. If the nation gets home ministers like him what will happen to the country," Hazare thundered.

Hazare was arrested on August 16 from Delhi after he refused to call off his fast in violation of prohibitory orders imposed around the fast venue.

Anna said Chidambaram had also ordered the June crackdown against Baba Ramdev at the Ramlila ground.

One day in a hut is not enough: Anna on Rahul Gandhi

Taking on Rahul Gandhi, Anna said he aspires to be the Prime Minister but spending "one day" in a hut is just not enough. "I don't have any fight with Rahul Gandhi. He is also young man. He dreams of becoming the Prime Minister. But spending one day in a hut is not enough. He has to spend months doing it," Anna said.

Anna also accused the AICC General Secretary of being the person behind the watering down of the Lokpal report. "When the Prime Minister has given in writing... then who can be behind that. it is Rahul Gandhi. Who else can influence? I think who has the courage to influence or to go against?" Anna said.

Join my fight: Anna to Opposition

Even as the Congress chose to stay away, the Left, the BJP and other parties spoke out their stand on the Lokpal Bill, sharing stage with anti-corruption activist on Sunday. While the political parties flayed the government and the Parliamentary Standing Committee for preparing a weak Lokpal draft, some of them also appealed to Anna and his team to be flexible in their approach towards the bill.

CPI leader AB Bardhan advised Team Anna to be flexible and listen to other voices as well and not demand that Parliament pass their Jan Lokpal Bill in totality. "The issue is in Parliament let there be debate in Parliament," he said.

BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday said that the Lokpal Bill draft prepared by the Parliamentary Standing Committee is a betrayal to the people of the country as it ignores the sense of the House resolution passed in August this year.

There is no difference between a debate in Parliament or on the street. Country needs an independent and strong Lokpal," said Jaitley.

On the inclusion of CBI under Lokpal, Jaitley said, "CBI should be independent. CBI top officials' appointment should be independent of Government. CBI's administrative control should be under Lokpal."

Brinda Karat from CPI(M) said that the Prime Minister should be included under the ambit of Lopkal. "Anna's andolan shows the strength of the people. Though we do not agree that all politicians are corrupt, I hope Team Anna will do think of this," she said.

JD (U) president Sharad Yadav said that no body has the right to change the Sense of the House on Lokpal. "The sense of house must be honoured. Neither the government, not Team Anna can violate that. We will see that it will be honoured," he said.

Samajwadi Party General Secretary Ram Gopal Yadav alleged that Standing Committee acted under pressure. "Samajwadi Party is with Team Anna on most of their demands. There should be reservation in search committees. We will pressurise government to accept at least the most important parts of the recommendations," Yadav said.

With Additional Inputs from PTI and IANS

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