Anna halts poll tour plan on PM’s promise

Gandhian Anna Hazare has put on hold his plan to tour five poll-bound states after PM assured him of a strong Lokpal Bill.

Updated: Nov 23, 2011, 10:32 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Gandhian Anna Hazare has put on hold his plan to tour five poll-bound states after he received a letter from Prime Minister’s Office reiterating that the government’s commitment to pass a strong Lokpal Bill in the Winter Session of the Parliament.

A new channel quoted Anna as saying, "When the country`s Prime Minister is giving the assurance then we have to believe in him, if we are in talks with the federal government and the issue concerns the country and society, then we have to put our plans on hold.

Earlier in the week, Team Anna had accused the feared that the government will reduce the Lokpal Bill to “an empty tin box with no powers and functions” if the citizen charter, whistle-blower protection and the judiciary are removed from the proposed anti-graft body.=

The activists said this following reports that the parliamentary standing committee, which is deliberating on the Lokpal bill, may advocate for removal of these sections from the anti-graft body.

They also remarked that such action would be contrary to the ‘sense of house’ passed by parliament in August — which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh referred to as a “resolution” in his letter to Anna Hazare - due to which the social activist broke his Ramlila Maidan fast.

However, later Team Anna expressed its willingness to de-link citizen`s charter from the proposed anti-corruption ombudsman provided that a separate bill on the lines of the one in Uttarakhand be introduced in Parliament along with the Lokpal Bill.