Hazare announces fast unto death till `Jan Lokpal Bill` enacted

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare said he will observe fast unto death from Tuesday till the government enacts a comprehensive law like the Jan Lokpal Bill to tackle the menace.

New Delhi: Anti-corruption crusader Anna
Hazare on Monday said he will observe fast unto death from
tomorrow till the government enacts a comprehensive law like
the Jan Lokpal Bill to tackle the menace.

"My fast unto death begins tomorrow. I was saddened when
the Prime Minister rejected the demand by leading civil
society members to include them and senior ministers in the
joint committee to draft the Jan Lokpal Bill (Citizen`s
ombudsman Bill)," 72-year-old Hazare told at a press conference in Delhi.

He said that a Group of Ministers headed by Sharad Pawar
is looking into the contents of the proposed anti-corruption
bill and civil society members would be consulted later.

Retired IPS officer Kiran Bedi and social reformist Swami
Agnivesh were also present and pledged their support to
Hazare.

Hazare lamented that the views of eminent persons like
Justice (Retd) Santosh Hegde, advocate Prashant Bhushan and
Agnivesh were not considered important by the government and
"a minister like Sharad Pawar, who is known for possessing
large amounts of land in Maharashtra, is heading a committee
that will draft the bill."

Swami Agnivesh said he attended the meeting this morning
of the sub-group on transparency of the National Advisory
Committee (NAC) headed by Sonia Gandhi.

He said a `Jan Lokpal` should be set up at the Centre and
a `Jan Lokayukta` appointed in each state to handle corruption
cases, probe them and ensure prosecution.

"If the NAC had also decided to look into our demands,
Hazare would not have to sit on fast from tomorrow. At an
earlier meeting of ours with the GoM, Law Minister M Veerappa
Moily kept saying there was no precedent of having a joint
committee to draft such a bill", Agnivesh said.

Bedi said just like the nation united during the cricket
world cup to boost India to victory, people, activists and
media have to create a non-stop movement till the Jan Lokpal
Bill is adopted by Parliament.

The activists also claimed support of 1983 cricket world
cup winning captain Kapil Dev and said he had written a letter
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh support their demand.

The activists handed over a copy of the letter written by
Kapil Dev to the Prime Minister on March 30 in which he said
he was "pained" to see once scam after another come out during
the Commonwealth Games (CWG).

The letter said many committees have been set up to go
into the scams but no concrete action has been taken so far.

"Why can`t we have an independent Lokpal to look into
these scams. I consider you as the cleanest politician in the
recent history and I urge you for a Jan Lokpal Bill," Kapil
Dev added.

PTI

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