Patna/Delhi: Activist Anna Hazare on Thursday rejected the new draft of the Lokpal Bill with amendments proposed by the central government and announced that he would continue his fight for the Jan Lokpal Bill.
"The proposed new draft of the Lokpal Bill is useless. We will continue our fight for the Jan Lokpal Bill and force the government to pass it," Hazare told reporters here.
He also added, “Corruption cannot be curbed until CBI and CVC are allowed to function independently.”
"Both PM and Sonia Gandhi can no more be trusted to bring a stringent Lokpal bill to root out corruption ... Had they been committed to the issue it would not have taken two years to take concrete decision in this regard," Hazare told reporters here.
Describing the Lokpal Bill approved by the union cabinet as 'a farce', Hazare said he had written a letter to the Congress president in reply to her letter to him seeking clarification whether the proposed bill will be a stringent one and whether CBI and the CVC will be kept out of the government's control.
But she has not responded to these clarifications, he said and trashed the proposed Lokpal Bill. "The Centre is trying to befool the people by going ahead with it."
Hazare added that the proposed bill would not help fight corruption. "I will visit people in towns and villages across the country in coming months to awaken their conscience," the septuagenarian said.
Kejriwal criticises UPA over Lokpal Bill
Activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday criticised the UPA government for not coming out with a "strong" Lokpal bill, asserting that the proposed law would not check corruption.
"Why should you have any Lokpal? If an agency is created which will not stop corruption, will lead to increased corruption and provide protection to ministers, then what is the point," he told reporters here."We were not interested in just the word Lokpal. You can name it anything. The government has not done a favour to the people of the country. It is the government's constitutional duty to give a corruption-free regime," he said.
"Some people are saying they are happy that a beginning has been made, but has the government done us a favour?" asked Kejriwal, saying the people of the country were suffering due to corruption and price rise. He sought to know why the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government cannot come out with changes in the law to make it stronger now.
"Why can't the changes and amendments be made now? This means that the government thinks if a strict law is passed, all of them will go to jail," he said."Half of the ministers of the same cabinet, which passed the bill, will be in jail if a strong Lokpal comes," alleged Kejriwal.
Anna not satisfied with Guj govt’s performance
Anna Hazare downplayed a question about corruption in Bihar under Chief Minister Nitish Kumar. However, on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being projected as the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate, Hazare said that Modi was not keen on making his state free of corruption.
"Why not Modi appointed Lokaykta in Gujarat and why he failed to make Gujarat a corruption free state? It appears that Modi is not willing to make India a corruption free country if he becomes the prime minister," he said.
On Wednesday, Hazare announced that he would form a Jantantra Morcha to fight for people's rights. Hazare, who arrived here on Tuesday, said the Morcha would also work for eradicating corruption.