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Hazare sticks to Aug 30 deadline for bill passage

Last updated on: August 23, 2011 14:23 IST

Hazare sticks to Aug 30 deadline for bill passage

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Anna Hazare on Tuesday stuck to his August 30 deadline for passage of Jan Lokpal Bill and asked his supporters to intensify the protest by gheraoing the houses of Parliamentarians if government failed to do so.

Hazare told the gathering at Ramlila Maidan that protesters in thousands should protest outside the residences of MPs if the government fails to get Jan Lokpal Bill passed by August 30. "Now, 25-30 people are sitting on dharnas in front of MPs' residences. If the government does not pass the bill by August 30, we have to intensify the protest. Protesters in thousands should gherao the residences of MPs then," he said.

Alleging that a few people in the government were "betraying" them, he said, "They betrayed us during the meetings of joint committee. "I feel there are only 5 to 6 people in the government who are running the country and if such people, who do not have a social or national perspective, run the nation, then what will happen to this country...This is something to worry about," Hazare said.

"Even if Lokpal comes and if such traitors run the country, what will happen. This is the question which is bothering me," the 73-year-old Gandhian said.

Meanwhile, Team Anna on Tuesday demanded that government mandate somebody officially for opening a political dialogue on the Lokpal issue and suggested that it either withdraw the official bill or amend it by including provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

"Let the government mandate somebody officially. We are waiting for a political dialogue. It is not a technical issue. It is not a bureaucratic issue. It is a political problem," said activist Arvind Kejriwal.

He said officially they have not got any proposal from the government.

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Image: Arvind Kejriwal

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'Never insisted to talk ONLY with the PM or Rahul'

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Asked about various proposals being talked about, Kejriwal said, "There are two options. The government can withdraw its bill and introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill or the government can bring amendments to the existing bill. The government should make a list on the points it agrees or disagrees on".

However, Kejriwal said Hazare has not insisted that he will talk only with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh or Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi.

Team Anna is maintaining that no formal talks have begun even as close aides of spiritual leader Bhayyuji Maharaj handed over a fresh 11-point proposal to Hazare late in the night. However, they could not meet the Gandhian as he was sleeping.

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Image: Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi

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'Consider the acceptable points'

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Kejriwal said government should look into the 22 points on which there are disagreements and say which ones are acceptable and ask bureaucrats the way to implement them.

The Hazare team also appealed to members of Parliament to reflect the views and concerns of the common man on the Jan Lokpal Bill when Parliament reconvenes after a break on Tuesday.

Indications that Hazare and the government may engage in a dialogue emerged on Monday with the Gandhian asking a representative to be named for the purpose by the PM, who has expressed a willingness to have a "reasoned debate" on the issue.


Image: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh

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