‘Govt to deal with Lokpal issue with an iron hand’

As Team Anna gears up for the three-day fast in Mumbai, the government on Saturday said the Lokpal Bill cannot be passed by "someone on the streets or in maidans" and it would deal with the issue with "an iron hand".

Chennai: As Team Anna gears up for the
three-day fast in Mumbai, the government on Saturday said the Lokpal
Bill cannot be passed by "someone on the streets or in
maidans" and it would deal with the issue with "an iron hand".

"A team of five members cannot pressurise the government on
passing a bill. A bill can be passed only in Parliament after
voting. Parliament alone can pass the bill, and not by someone
on the streets or maidans. They cannot decide for Parliament.
We will handle this with an iron hand," Union Minister of
State in the PMO V Narayanasamy told reporters.

His comments came as the Team Anna locked horns with the
government rejecting the Lokpal Bill tabled in Parliament as
`weak`.

Anna Hazare, spearheading the movement for a strong Lokpal,
is set to undertake a three-day fast in Mumbai from December
27 to pressurise the government to accept their demands
including bringing CBI under the ambit of the anti-corruption
ombudsman.

The bill, slated to be debated and passed in the extended
Winter Session of Parliament from Tuesday, has also come under
scathing attack from the opposition parties, including BJP
which is up in arms on the minorities reservation clause.

To a question on the raging Mullaperiyar Dam issue between
Tamil Nadu and Kerala, Narayanasamy said political parties in
Tamil Nadu should stop blaming the Centre and Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh as the matter was with the Supreme Court.

"Some political parties in the state are trying to
campaign against the Prime Minister over the Mullaperiyar Dam
issue. He cannot intervene in this, since the case is with the
Supreme Court," he said.

Even after the Prime Minister intervened, following letters
from Chief Ministers of both states, he said, the two states
were not co-operating for talks.

"Tamil Nadu said it wanted the Supreme Court to decide,
when Kerala approached the Prime Minister to intervene. They
should either wait for the Supreme Court or they should solve
it smoothly between themselves," he said.

The Prime Minister cannot intervene as water bodies and
rivers were under the states` jurisdiction, he said.

Asked about the proposed black flag protest announced by
some parties during the Prime Minister`s two-day visit to
Tamil Nadu starting tomorrow, Narayanasamy said, "Their black
flags will only worsen the situation in the already tensed
states and will not help in solving the problem in any way."

Kerala has been insisting that the 116-year old
Mullaperiyar Dam be replaced with a new one citing safety
concerns, while Tamil Nadu has strongly opposed it saying the
existing structure was safe.

PTI

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