Govt Lokpal draft better than 2010: Agnivesh



New Delhi: Contrary to Anna Hazare team's description of government's Lokpal Bill draft as a "very big hoax", Swami Agnivesh, an associate of the Gandhian's anti-graft campaign, on Friday termed the latest draft as an "improvement" of its 2010 draft.

However Agnivesh, who met two government nominees in the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill Law Minister M Veerappa Moily and Water Resources Minister Salman Khurshid, argued that the post of the Prime Minister should be brought under the ambit of the ombudsman albeit with some conditions.

The social activist said his meetings with both the ministers were encouraging and appreciated that the new draft of was an "improvement" of the one prepared by the government in October last year.

"I congratulated the government for improving the 2010 Bill. I hope that the remaining other contentious issues will also be finetuned and refined. We should be able to get all the contentious issues resolved amicably," Agnivesh told PTI.

"I requested Moily and Khurshid to look into the inclusion of Prime Minister with some conditions like that in the 2010 draft bill," he said, adding such a gesture would inspire confidence among people. Without Prime Minister's inclusion, he said, the government efforts will not carry much conviction.

He claimed both Moily and Khurshid were "positive" to his suggestions.

When pointed out that his stand was in variance with the Hazare team's position on the bill, he said, "I have my own way of interpreting things. I think this draft is a positive development which has to be worked upon to make it more effective."

Agnivesh said he will continue to be part of the efforts in fighting corruption and that he met the ministers in his individual capacity.

PTI