Hazare says he will meet Sonia on Thursday

As part of his outreach to political parties on Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare on Tuesday said he would meet Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Thursday.

Updated: Jun 28, 2011, 21:51 PM IST

Pune: As part of his outreach to political
parties on Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare on Tuesday said he would meet
Congress President Sonia Gandhi in Delhi on Thursday.

Hazare said he would be meeting all party Presidents,
including Gandhi, from Wednesday.

Asked why was he going to meet Gandhi when Congress was
opposed to his agitation, Hazare told reporters here "it was
part of the democratic process in our discussions."

To a question, the social activist refuted reports that
the recent letter sent by Gandhi, in reply to his
communication, was terse in its tone and tenor and
defamatory , and said she had not written "anything bad".

Asked whether his letters to the Congress chief
reflected his faith in her, Hazare laughed and quipped "if it
was so, I would have met her regularly."

Asked whether Prime Minster Manmohan Singh was "afraid"
of his office being covered by the Lokpal, the veteran social
activist said "Manmohan Singh is not afraid. But there is a
remote control!"

Hazare said he would not hesitate to fight against those
opposition parties which did not support a strong
anti-corruption ombudsman.

"If they are not ready to support our major demands
for a strong Lokpal Bill, including bringing Prime Minister
within the ambit of the Lokpal, we shall wage a fight against
Opposition parties along with the ruling Congress," he said.

Hazare said this when asked what would be the stand of
civil society led by him if during his parleys with the
leaders of the opposition parties failed to endorse the
inclusion of the Prime Minister in the purview of the Lokpal,
as advocated by "Team Anna".

Hazare said the government was still not prepared to
accept major demands of civil society group, including those
pertaining to the inclusion of the Prime Minister, CBI and CVC
in the purview of the Lokpal.

Hazare said he had complete faith in Parliament and
was hopeful that it would pass a Bill that constituted a
strong Lokpal to combat corruption in all spheres.

PTI