Kolkata: Social activist Medha Patkar today
expressed confidence that the Jan Lokpal Bill, now being
studied by a Parliamentary Standing Committee, will finally
come into effect as it has public support.
"The Jan Lokpal Bill will go ahead, whatever be its
status now in the Parliament Standing Committee. This is
because it has public support. We want a strong Lokpal Bill,
something which can keep out political interferences," Patkar
said at a press conference here.
Referring to National Advisory Council member Aruna Roy`s
reported view that the CBI and the CVC should be kept out of
the purview of the Lokpal, Patkar said, "We do not agree to
this view. Both agencies should be brought under the Lokpal".
She denied that Anna Hazare`s proposed `rail yatra`
was aimed at gaining mileage in electoral politics and said it
would take his movement against corruption to the far reaches
of the country where even the media did not have much access.
Asked to comment on the proposed `rath yatra,` by senior
BJP leader L K Advani, she said, "instead of holding the
yatra, Advani Ji should see that the Jan Lokpal Bill takes
On Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi`s proposed fast
from September 17, Patkar said she doesn`t expect anything
from the programme as it will not address the issues of the
poor landless workers.
"There is hunger in the state. 40 per cent of the
rural people are landless. Workers do not get minimum wages.
There is forcible acquisition of land for corporates. You do
not know it, but there was agitation when the Tatas shifted
their small car factory from Singur to Sanand," she said.
Referring to the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and
Resettlement Bill 2011, Patkar demanded rehabilitation package
for land-losers upto 25 acre onwards instead of 100 acres as
proposed in the bill.
Terming the rehabilitation package in the bill as
cash-oriented, Patkar demanded livelihood protection for
"Besides, not even single-crop agricultural land should
be acquired for industry," she said.