Show courage on Lokpal, Anna tells PM
Gandhian Anna Hazare wrote a fresh letter to the Prime Minister saying the government has betrayed people and Parliament by bringing a weak Lokpal.
New Delhi: Breaking his silence for the first time ever since the Lokpal fiasco, Gandhian Anna Hazare on Sunday wrote a fresh letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appealing him to show “courage” in passing a strong Lokpal bill.
In his four-page-long letter, the anti-corruption crusader urged the Prime Minister to “show courage” like he did to ensure the passage of Indo-US Civil Nuclear Deal.
"You have turned 80 and this country has given you everything. Now the county is asking something in return...Show courage to push for a stringent Lokpal bill”, Hazare wrote adding, “You had put your government at stake for passing the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill, now show courage for a strict anti-corruption law”, he added.
Terming the Lokpal bill a “fraud” committed on the Parliament, the 74-year-old anti-corruption activist said, "The bill passed by the Lok Sabha is a betrayal of the trust of the nation. During my fast in August last year, I was assured by Parliament of bringing a strict Lokpal Bill”.
"It is also a betrayal of Parliament, as the sense of house was not kept in the bill," he added.
“The government did not let amendments moved by the Opposition get passed in the Rajya Sabha. Do you really think the bill passed by the Lok Sabha is strict enough to check corruption in the country. How could you betray the country,” he asked.
"If such an act could be performed by the government then the future of Parliament and democracy would be bleak," he said.
Arguing for the independence of CBI, Hazare asked Singh why the governmnt was afraid of loosening the government grip over the agency.
Team Anna has also shot off separate letters to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav asking their stand on Lokpal issue.
The anti-corruption crusader noted that each of their parties have given tickets to candidates involved in corruption or having criminal background.
In the letter to Gandhi, Team Anna asked the Congress leader whether his party will dare bring a law on the lines of "strong" Lokayukta law in Uttarakhand.
Gadkari was questioned as to why his party did not insist on Nitish Kumar government in Bihar, in which it is a partner, bringing a strong Lokayukta law like the one in Uttarakhand.
Team Anna also found fault with BSP chief Mayawati for not opposing the bill in the Standing Committee and staging a walkout in Lok Sabha which, they alleged, helped the UPA government pass it in the Lower House.
“Yadav, on the other hand, "strongly" opposed the bill in the Standing Committee but walked out in Lok Sabha,” the Team Anna letter to him said while asking him to clear whether he would go with Congress or BJP after the UP elections.
The letters from Hazare and his team came as the Gandhian recovered from illness following his fast in Mumbai demanding a stronger version of the Lokpal bill.
During the extended Winter Session of the Parliament, Lok Sabha had passed the Lokpal Bill with a voice vote. But, the government did not put the bill to vote in Rajya Sabha amid high drama. The upper house was adjourned sine die on the midnight of December 29 last year without putting the bill to vote.