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Rahul Gandhi urges political parties to help pass Lokpal Bill

By Sushmita Dutta | Last Updated: Sunday, December 15, 2013 - 01:22

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday dismissed the speculations that his party is pushing Lokpal Bill to woo the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to form government in the national capital or due to Anna Hazare`s fast.

Addressing a special press conference at the Congress headquarters, Rahul said, "Lokpal bill is being pushed not because of Aam Aadmi Party`s performance in Delhi polls or Anna Hazare`s fast."

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal had kept a demand in front of the Congress party that they may think of taking Congress` support to form government in the national capital if the ruling party accepts to pass the Lokpal bill whereas the anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare is fasting for the same cause.

The AAP has 28 MLAs in the 70-member assembly and with Congress` support, it can reach the magic figure of 36.
Notably, Arvind Kejriwal had written a letter to the Congress high command yesterday and had asked to express their stand on Lokpal Bill and various other issues mentioned in AAP`s manifesto.

In the backdrop of Arvind Kejriwal`s demand, Rahul today clarified that government is not pushing Lokpal bill because of AAP.

Apparently referring to Samajwadi Party`s opposition to the Bill, he said, "All parties should together accomplish this bill. I appeal to all parties to support this bill.. This is in national interest."

"Lokpal is a serious weapon against corruption, it is a requirement. Everyone should work together for the national interest," he added.

Flanked by Law Minister Kapil Sibal, Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy, Gandhi said Lokpal is an "extremely important legislation" against corruption.

"What we are working on is a framework to fight corruption, it`s an element. Other elements make part of this framework too," he said.

Highlighting the need of a strong Lokpal Bill, Rahul said, "Our job is to give this country a powerful Lokpal bill, we are 99% there, we need 1% movement from political parties."

"This is for the country, the parties should put aside their differences and finish this Bill," he added.

Asked whether Anna Hazare would be convinced by the government efforts, he said, "our intention was to bring an anti-corruption infrastructure. We will keep doing this... Hazare is on fast, that is his perspective."

He added, "Unfair to say we are bringing this bill because of AAP; we have already brought RTI, single biggest weapon to fight corruption."

"The single biggest step, bigger than the Lokpal, was the RTI, we passed the single biggest instrument against corruption," he added.

With PTI inputs

First Published: Saturday, December 14, 2013 - 18:09

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