New Delhi: Backtracking on his
yesterday`s statement, Anna Hazare on Monday stuck to his August
15 deadline for passage of the Lokpal Bill failing which he
will resort to agitation.
"The joint drafting committee has a mandate to produce
a strong Jan Lokpal bill which will be sent to Parliament. We
hope that all political parties will vote as per the wishes of
the people, which is overwhelmingly in favour of a strong
"Parties that vote against the Bill will be eventually
hurting their popularity and exposing their mala fide
intentions. In such an event, we will again take to streets,"
Hazare said in a statement here.
At a interaction with Marathi journalists here
yesterday, Hazare appeared to be flexible on the August 15
deadline saying he was open to extending it if he found that
the government was on the right path.
"We will have to accept it. We believe in democracy,"
he has said in reply to a question on what would be his stand
if Parliament rejected the Lokpal Bill drafted jointly by the
government and representatives of the civil society.
Reacting to media reports, Hazare said on Monday that the
deadline for preparation of the draft bill remains June 30,
immediately after which it should be presented in the Monsoon
Session of Parliament.
"Even the government has admitted that it is realistic
for Parliament to deliberate and take a decision on the JLB by
the August 15 deadline set by me. Thus failure of this
deadline will invite mass protests by the people," he said.
He said people being the masters need to monitor
Parliament’s decisions in a functioning democracy. This was
true as Parliament has failed to pass a Lokpal Bill for the
past 42 years.
In addition, significant number of elected
representatives have used money, muscle power, election fraud,
misinformation in the media to win seats, undermining the
sanctity and credibility of the parliamentary system, he said
adding the citizens will have to ensure that a strong Lokpal
Bill is passed.
He also said that confusion was being created in the
media through government sources that the civil society has
climbed down in the first Joint Drafting Committee meeting
held on Saturday.
"It was rumoured that we agreed to the exclusion of
the Prime Minister, cabinet ministers and judiciary from
Lokpal`s purview. Civil Society members have certainly not
agreed to any of the above. Jan Lokpal bill version 2.2 was
presented to the Government of India at the first meeting," he