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Hazare threatens big protest for strong Lokpal

Anna Hazare met his team members in the national capital today to decide on the future course of agitation in support of the Jan Lokpal Bill.



New Delhi: Threatening to launch a "big protest" for a strong Lokpal bill, Anna Hazare on Friday said the government will have to go if it does not bring a strong anti- corruption law.
He said he will campaign for a strong Lokpal Bill till the next Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and if it does not come by then, he will sit in protest in Ramlila Maidan in Delhi soon after declaration of polls.

"They have to bring (the law) or they will have to go. We will organise a big struggle," Hazare said addressing the India Today Conclave here.

Speaking during the session titled `Yeh Dil Maange No More Corruption`, he claimed more than half of the ministers in the UPA government would have been behind the bars if a strong Lokpal Bill was passed in Parliament.

Noting that the present laws are not effective in keeping the corrupt in jail, the 74-year-old activist alleged that the government was not bringing the law as it feels that it cannot function in such a scenario.

He said the RTI Act provides information on various issues but it does not have the power to send people to jails which signifies the need for an "effective" anti-corruption legislation.

"The RTI provides us information about corruption. Many papers came out. We came to know about Adarsh scam, the scam by Suresh Kalmadi. But the RTI cannot send people to jail. For that we need a strong Lokpal," Hazare said.

To a question on poor response to his Mumbai agitation, he alleged that there were some sections which were working to divide his team and dishonour the movement.

"That was not the case. A few people were sitting in the shade to avoid the sun during my protest. These photos were published. Check our photos. It has a large number of people. It is wrong to say that it did not attract people," Hazare about the Mumbai protest.

Asked to name the "good people" in the UPA government, he said he would not name the people as it would put them in trouble and those who were left out would feel bad.

On corruption charges against his team member Kiran Bedi, he said she did not inflate her travel bills to use them for her personal or family matters.

"There is nothing wrong in what she did. She did it for the betterment of the society," he said.

PTI

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