BJP in two minds over Hazare`s version of Lokpal Bill
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Last Updated: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 23:59
New Delhi: BJP appears to be in two minds on social activist Anna Hazare's indefinite fast against corruption with some leaders openly expressing their support to it and others privately airing reservations on his version of the Lokpal Bill.

Senior BJP leaders like Rajnath Singh, Maneka Gandhi, Tarun Vijay, Prakash Javadekar and party's former Hindutva face Uma Bharti have expressed their support to Hazare's fast and the cause he is espousing.

However, there is utter confusion on whether joining Hazare in the fight against corruption- an issue the BJP has been raising in and outside Parliament over the last several months- is enough or the party should go ahead and accept his draft of the Lokpal Bill which states that the Prime Minister should also be in its ambit.

Vijay, who had visited Hazare yesterday at Jantar Mantar, said BJP wants that the opinion of all parties and interested NGOs should be sought before finalising the Bill.

He sought to put all the blame for corruption on the Congress-led government.

"Congress should apologise to the people of India. It has forced an octogenerian Gandhian to sit on a fast," Vijay said.

Asked about the Jan Lokpal Bill, he said, "We are with every effort which is made to fight corruption. We want that more and more strict laws are made to check corruption."

While Hazare himself has criticised both the Congress and the BJP, some leaders from the principal opposition feel supporting the social activist on corruption is fine as it corners the UPA government.

However, other BJP leaders are apprehensive.

"We cannot support bringing the Prime Minister in its ambit. There are several decisions- pertaining to foreign policy, defence, intelligence services and the like- on which the PM cannot be made answerable," a senior leader said.

Such leaders are also against making NGOs and social activists too powerful in fixing accountability as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill.

"They will become more powerful than elected representatives and legislators," a senior BJP leader said.

The Lokpal would get too much power, feel some leaders, if Hazare's views are incorporated.

BJP has already learned it the hard way in Karnataka where Lok Ayukt Santosh Hegde has made life difficult for the B S Yeddyurappa dispensation by asking uncomfortable questions on out of turn allotments and other issues of corruption.


First Published: Wednesday, April 06, 2011, 23:59

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