'Regret handing over Lokpal fight to Hazare and his yes men'
Ninety-four-year-old Gandhian Shambhu Dutt, who ended his fast-unto-death demanding Lokpal bill after Team Anna's promise to shoulder the campaign, says he now regrets his decision to hand over his fight to Anna Hazare and his core committee of "yes men".
Dutt, general secretary of Gandhian Seva and Satyagraha Brigade, along with his five colleagues was the first to sit on fast-unto-death on January 30 last year over the Lokpal issue.
"Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh came to us and pleaded to end our protest saying they will carry forward the protest. In retrospect, I think we should not have called off the protest. We were more sincere in our determination," Dutt told the media.
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Image: Gandhian Shambhu Dutt
'Core committee members insubstantial'
Slamming Team Anna, he said the core committee members were "insubstantial".
"Team Anna and particularly Arvind Kejriwal has lost the credibility in the eyes of those who know the inside story. The core committee is full of all yes men and there is no substance in the committee. The excesses and transgresses will prove to be undoing of Hazare's campaign," he claimed.
Terming Hazare's threat to campaign against the Congress in poll-bound states as "childish", he said, "Hazare keeps changing his stand. Earlier he said he would not oppose Congress. He should have waited to see what kind of bill the government is proposing before Parliament."
Image: Arvind Kejriwal, Anna Hazare, Kiran Bedi and former Team Anna member Swami Agnivesh
'Have objections to some provisions in Jan Lokpal'
Dutt's organisation has submitted a memorandum on Lokpal issue to the Parliamentary Standing Committee and has rejected several proposals of the Jan Lokpal Bill. "We supported Hazare's corruption campaign but we have objections to some of the provisions in the Jan Lokpal Bill," he said.
Dutt has also written a letter to Law Minister Salman Khurshid demanding that the confiscation of illegally acquired property bill be introduced at the most in the Budget Session of Parliament 2012. He has threatened to resume his hunger strike from January 30 if the Bill is not introduced by then.
"The Law Commission of India had sent a draft of the Bill to be enacted, but the government has been silent about this Bill during the last 12 years. The confiscation of illegally acquired property by corrupt means bill is important than the Lokpal bill," Dutt said.
Image: Supporters of Anna Hazare shout during a protest against corruption in New Delhi