Kiran Bedi Backs Lokpal Bill; Anna Hazare Accuses Govt. Of Betrayal

    NEW DELHI (TIP):Differing with AnnaHazare on the amendedLokpal Bill approved by theUnion Cabinet, his teammate and close confidante,the former IPS officerKiran Bedi on February 1,backed the legislationsaying it addressed most oftheir concerns.Bedi also expressedhappiness over theamended Bill paving theway for constitution of acollegium to select the chiefof Central Bureau ofInvestigation.

    “From nothing to something to more, aswe move on! This is how we can read theLokpalShe also said that most of the concernshave been addressed in the draft and citedthe appointment of CBI chief and otherchanges as positive ones.”(CBI’s) its Anti-Corruption wing hasbeen brought under oversight of Lokpal.Which is what we needed!” she said. Theactivist said, “It is open to oppositionparties to improve the Lokpal as part oftheir manifesto!”Her remarks contradict Anna Hazare’sstand that the amended Lokpal bill was a”farce”.

    He also announced he will launchanother agitation if the government wentahead with the enactment of a “weak”legislation.Meanwhile, Anna Hazare on Friday,February 1 announced that he wouldreturn to agitate at Ramlila Maidan ifrequired, expressing his lack of confidencein the government in bringing a strongLokpal. His statement comes a day after theUnion Cabinet cleared the Lokpal Bill.In sharp contrast to his colleague KiranBedi, Anna slammed the Bill saying it didnot include provision for setting up ofLokayukatas in states, did not include theCBI or CVC and also excluded lower rungbureaucracy. Bedi has been supportive ofthe Bill, saying that at least there was someanti-corruption mechanism in place.

    Anna,on the other hand, rejected the new draft asa betrayal by the government.”This government has gone back on itsassurances over the last two years. Theyhave betrayed us. I will tour the country forthe next two years to raise awarenessagainst this government and if need be Iwill agitate at Ramlila Maidan again,”Anna said.Reacting to Congress leader RahulGandhi’s speech that power was poison,Anna questioned, “If power is poison, thenwhy do people run after it…power is also anaddiction.”He also added that he had received aletter from Congress chief Sonia Gandhiassuring him that Lokpal Bill would bepassed in Parliament soon. “Thisgovernment is incapable of making goodlaws…we need clean candidates who willmake laws against corruption,” he added.The activist was accompanied by formerarmy chief V K Singh.

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