Lokpal row: Hegde accuses Govt of changing stand

The talks between the government and civil society representatives over the Lokpal Bill issue are close to the breakdown stage.

Bangalore: With the talks between the government and civil society representatives over the Lokpal Bill issue close to the breakdown stage, former Karnataka Lokayukta Justice N Santosh Hegde on Thursday accused the government of changing its stand, and said the main cause of worry is Anna Hazare`s health.

"This government is becoming very famous for taking a decision in the morning and changing it in the night. Day before yesterday, both parties had openly told the media the whole dispute has come down to two points. Out of which, one was inclusion of judges, Anna Team said ok. Therefore, it was left to only one point," Hegde told mediapersons here.

"Yesterday nothing, after this discussion with the opposition parties, they have also joined and said neither Anna`s bill nor the Government bill, a new bill will be drafted stage one, what is the idea," he added.

Responding to a question on whether political parties are united and what will be the future course of action over the Lokpal Bill issue, Hegde said: "Yes, they are united. We will think about it. This happened only yesterday night, and all of us are in contact with each other. But the main thing is that I am worried about Anna`s health."

Hegde further said law and order would be chaotic if anything happens to Anna Hazare, whose fast for a strong Lokpal Bill entered its tenth day today.

"If anything happens to Anna`s health, law and order will be chaotic. Therefore, we have to seriously think about Anna`s health, not only Anna, there are so many people, who are fasting," he added.

Asserting that protests by civil society representatives have been peaceful right from the start, Hegde urged Anna`s supporters to keep the fast separate from the protest.

"I personally feel let us separate the fast from the protest. Let us continue the protest as much as possible and as long as necessary. But let us keep the fast out; we don`t want any life to be lost. Ours is a peaceful protest right from the beginning," he said.

Hazare has been on a fast since August 16, the day he was arrested and taken to Tihar Jail. He was released the same day, but he refused to leave. He shifted to the Ramlila Grounds in New Delhi on August 19, from where he has been continuing with his fast.


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