New Delhi: Hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signalled the government's willingness to accommodate Team Anna's concerns on Lokpal Bill, social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday slammed the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government for linking his fast with political parties.
“We are being associated with BJP, RSS, and now the US. Tomorrow, they (government’s leaders) will say Pakistan is behind us,” said Hazare, whose indefinite fast pressing for a stronger Lokpal Bill to check corruption entered the fifth day today.
Hazare told his supporters that the fight will not end with Lokpal but will extend to reforms in the election system. After Lokpal, we will also have to fight for farmers' rights, bring a law that ensures permission of Gram Sabhas before land acquisition, he added.
Talking to media personnel at Ramlila Maidan, Team Anna announced that it won’t give up on its demand for a strong Lokpal Bill.
Commenting on an advertisement issued in today’s newspapers by a Parliamentary committee seeking public opinion and suggestions on the government’s version of Lokpal Bill within 15 days, Team Anna said the government is using diversionary tactics.
Former IPS officer and social activist Kiran Bedi said the government should have put out both the bills, Lokpal as well as Jan Lokpal, in the advertisement.
Accusing the government for delaying Lokpal Bill for decades, Team Anna added that the country can’t afford to wait longer for a strong bill against graft.
First Published: Saturday, August 20, 2011, 18:47