Mumbai: Congress MPs from Mumbai Sanjay Nirupam and Priya Dutt on Monday came out in favour of a strong Lokpal Bill, with Dutt also advocating the inclusion of the higher judiciary and the Prime Minister in its ambit, contrary to the party stand.
Dutt and Nirupam were only two of the six Mumbai MPs who met activists of India Against Corruption (IAC) outside their homes or offices and promised to press for a strong Lokpal Bill.
"I am totally in support of a strong anti-corruption Lokpal Bill. The bill in Parliament is flawed, I do not support it, but even the Jan Lokpal Bill has flaws," Dutt told the activists.
She felt that the judiciary as well as the Prime Minister should come under its purview. "I don`t think the PM has any problems with this," she said.
Nirupam surprised IAC activists by sporting a Anna Hazare cap and assuring his support for a strong Lokpal Bill, before leaving for New Delhi.
Barring Dutt and Nirupam, the other four MPs gave the slip to hundreds of IAC activists protesting outside their homes or offices here on Monday.
According to IAC Navi Mumbai co-ordinator Ravi Shrivastava, none of the other four MPs were available to meet the protesting activists or accept the IAC`s memorandum seeking their support for a stronger Lokpal Bill when it is taken up in Parliament.
"We waited outside NCP (Nationalist Congress Party) MP Sanjeev Naik`s home (in Navi Mumbai) for over four hours, he did not meet us, but we are not deterred," said Shrivastava.
According to party officials, all the MPs are occupied with prior commitments, while some like central minister Milind Deora and ex-minister Gurudas Kamat are out of Mumbai.
Elsewhere in the state, Congress MP from Wardha (eastern Maharashtra) Datta Meghe also met the IAC activists and assured his support for the cause.
He also suggested that party spokesman Manish Tewari should tender an apology to Anna Hazare for "the unkind words" he uttered against the septuagenarian activist.