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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

War over Lokpal: Anna ups ante, to fast from Dec 27

New Delhi: Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday dubbed the UPA government's proposed Lokpal Bill “worthless” and announced to begin his fast in Mumbai from December 27.

Even as the government is set to table the Lokpal bill in Parliament on December 27, with the winter session being extended till December 29 to pass the anti-graft law, Hazare said: "The government is not sincere on fighting corruption and trying to cheat people."

Alleging that the government draft offers limited control over the CBI, he said he would embark on a three-day fast from December 27 and urged the people to court arrest between January 1 and January 3.

The government has extended the winter session to discuss and pass the Lokpal Bill on December 27, 28 and 29. The Prime Minister has cleared the Lokpal Bill draft which wouldl now be taken up in the cabinet meet that would be held on Tuesday evening.

Not yielding to Anna Hazare''s demand, the government is understood to have decided to keep CBI out of the purview of the proposed Lokpal. This is the view that has emerged out of the discussions senior ministers, who are lawyers in their ownright, had among themselves and had reportedly recommended to the Prime Minister.

Team Anna has said extension of the winter session would be worth only if a strong lokpal bill is brought with the CBI out of government control.

"Extension will be worth if it is for a strong lokpal with the CBI out of government control and with lokpal. Everything depends on the content of the bill," activist Kiran Bedi said.

Team Anna also asked the BJP whether it was determined on lokpal as it was on issues of JPC probe into 2G scam and FDI in retail and cautioned the opposition party against "double speak" on the question of bringing the CBI under the ombudsman.

Rejecting the government's Lokpal Bill, Hazare had on Monday said he would go on another fast from December 27 and also lunch a jail bharo agitation if the Lokpal Bill that he and his associates have proposed is not tabled in Parliament.

He had also said that if a bill that is capable of putting a stop to corruption is passed and we are all very happy with it, then his fast and the jail bharo andolan on can be stopped.


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