Chennai: As Team Anna gears up for the three-day fast in Mumbai, Government on Saturday said the Lokpal Bill cannot be passed by "someone on the streets or in maidans" and it would deal with the issue with "an iron hand".

"A team of five members cannot pressurise the government on passing a bill. A bill can be passed only in Parliament after voting. Parliament alone can pass the bill, and not by someone on the streets or maidans. They cannot decide for Parliament.

We will handle this with an iron hand," Union Minister of State in the PMO V Narayanasamy told reporters.
  
His comments came as the Team Anna locked horns with the government rejecting the Lokpal Bill tabled in Parliament as 'weak'.

Anna Hazare, spearheading the movement for a strong Lokpal, is set to undertake a three-day fast in Mumbai from December 27 to pressurise the government to accept their demands including bringing CBI under the ambit of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

The bill, slated to be debated and passed in the extended Winter Session of Parliament from Tuesday, has also come under scathing attack from the opposition parties, including BJP which is up in arms on the minorities reservation clause.

To a question on the raging Mullaperiyar Dam issue between
Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Narayanasamy said political parties in Tamil Nadu should stop blaming the Centre and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as the matter was with the Supreme Court.

"Some political parties in the state are trying to campaign against the Prime Minister over the Mullaperiyar Dam issue. He cannot intervene in this, since the case is with the Supreme Court," he said.

Even after the Prime Minister intervened, following letters from Chief Ministers of both states, he said, the two states were not co-operating for talks.

"Tamil Nadu said it wanted the Supreme Court to decide, when Kerala approached the Prime Minister to intervene. They should either wait for the Supreme Court or they should solve it smoothly between themselves," he said.

The Prime Minister cannot intervene as water bodies and rivers were under the states' jurisdiction, he said.

Asked about the proposed black flag protest announced by some parties during the Prime Minister's two-day visit to Tamil Nadu starting on Sunday, Narayanasamy said, "Their black flags will only worsen the situation in the already tensed states and will not help in solving the problem in any way."

Kerala has been insisting that the 116-year old Mullaperiyar Dam be replaced with a new one citing safety concerns, while Tamil Nadu has strongly opposed it saying the existing structure was safe.

(Agencies)