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Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Team Anna invites politicians to fast

NEW DELHI: Team Anna today invited leaders of all parties to Jantar Mantar on 11 December, when Anna Hazare plans to sit on a day-long fast, to put their views on Lokpal Bill, a deviation from its stand on previous occasions when it did not allow politicians to share its platform.

“11 December, Jantar Mantar debate with no adjournments on Lokpal. Come, listen, ask questions and clarify doubts. Political representatives are invited to speak,” activist Mrs Kiran Bedi tweeted.

A Team Anna spokesperson said formal invites are being sent to parties. Mr Hazare will be sitting on a day-long protest demanding a strong Lokpal Bill.

In the past, Mr Hazare had said that he will not invite any politicians to his fast. He had said they can come and sit with protesters but cannot share dais or make speeches.
                                                               In another development, dubbing the draft recommendations of a parliamentary committee on Lokpal Bill a “mere formality”, Uttarakhand chief minister Mr BC Khanduri today said such an ombudsman cannot curb corruption.

“It's too premature to speak on it (the Lokpal Bill under consideration of the parliamentary committee). But the way they are talking, it seems to be a mere formality...It is not correct. What's the use of having a mere formality on the issue of Lokpal as it will have no control over corruption,” he told reporters here.

Mr Khanduri said his state has made an effort to set up a Lokayukta institution which is above administrative and financial “pressures” to deal with corruption.

The Uttarakhand legislation, on the lines of the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by Team Anna, will cover ministers, including the chief minister and government servants including IAS and IPS officers, besides the lower judiciary.

The Bill provides for minimum punishment of six months and the maximum of life imprisonment. It will also have former chief ministers, ministers and retired officers under its purview but leaves Uttarakhand High Court judges out of it. The Lokayukta will consist of a chairperson and five members with a scope of increasing the number to seven as per the requirement.


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