Lokpal missing from agenda, Anna criticizes Centre

PUNE (TIP): Social crusader Anna Hazare, who is on an indefinite fast at Ralegan Siddhi, has criticized the Union government for abdicating its responsibility towards the Jan Lokpal bill. He said the bill has not been included in the agenda of the winter session raising doubts about the government’s intention. In a letter written to V Narayanasamy, minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, on Thursday, Hazare said when he checked two days prior to the start of the winter session of Parliament, the lokpal bill was not on the agenda. “If it is not on the agenda, how will the government table the bill and discuss it? It is quite clear that the government is cheating me and the people of this country,” he said in the letter.

Reminding the Congress that it had lost elections in four states recently, Hazare said: “If the Jan Lokpal bill is not passed during the winter session, the people of this country will teach the government and the ruling party a lesson in the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections too,” he said. Hazare said government representatives had told the media on Wednesday that the bill will be passed during this session, yet it has not been included in the agenda. He reiterated that he will not end his fast till the bill is passed. Meanwhile, in another letter sent to BJP leader Arun Jaitley, Hazare said he suspected the party’s intentions as it has failed to put pressure on the Union government to table the bill in the Rajya Sabha. “Your party has taken an aggressive stance regarding many issues both inside and outside the house. But I find that the party has been silent on the issue of Lokpal bill,” he said in the letter. Jaitley had written to Hazare on December 10 stating that his party was committed to passing the bill.

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