BJP in two minds over Hazare`s version of Lokpal Bill

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 6, 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

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


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First Published: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - 23:59

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