‘Quit if you can`t bring strong anti-graft law’

Anna asked the government to quit if it cannot bring an effective Lokpal Bill and accused it of "cheating" the country.

Updated: Dec 17, 2011, 22:26 PM IST

Bangalore: Taking his campaign for a strong
anti-corruption law to the south, Anna Hazare on Saturday asked the
government to quit if it cannot bring an effective Lokpal Bill
and accused it of "cheating" the country by doing a volte-face
on its promises.

In his address to a huge gathering at the Freedom Park here
where he also took part in the `save lokayukta campaign` in
Karnataka, he dismissed the draft legislation offered by the
government as "worthless".

"Bring Lokpal or go away. What is the need for such a
government (if it cannot bring a strong Lokpal)? This
government has become blind and deaf," he said.

The 74-year old activist also lent his support to the
campaign in Karnataka to `save Lokayukta` as the ombudsman
post is lying vacant caught in the crossfire between the BJP
Government and Governor HR Bhardwaj.

The Government has recommended former Kerala High Court
Chief justice SR Bannurmath`s name for the post, but Bhardwaj
has rejected it insisting he wants a `spotless` man for job.

Hazare, who spread his campaign on the Lokpal issue to the
south and would be in Chennai tomorrow, said "The draft is
worthless. Bring a fresh bill. We had prepared a good bill.
Government said why will they take a bill from outside? Are we
outsiders?"

Continuing his tirade against the UPA Government, he said
it had cheated the entire country and that he will carry on
his campaign `until his last breath`.

"The government has done a volte face by rejecting Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s promise to include the Citizen’s
charter, lower bureaucracy and establishment of Lokayuktas in
the states," he said.

Singh is a `good man`, but "he is remote-controlled" by
Congress High Command, Hazare said indirectly targeting AICC
chief Sonia Gandhi and Congress General Secretary Rahul
Gandhi.

Later responding to a query on Hazare skipping reference
to the delay in appointment Karnataka Lokayukta, Team Anna
member and former Lokayukta Santosh Hegde said, "I don`t think
you should read between the lines."

The fact that Hazare was present at the `Save Lokayukta`
campaign itself was testimony to his fight for appointment of
a spotless Lokayukta in Karnataka, Hegde said.

PTI