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UPA is 'playing tricks' over Lokpal Bill: Hazare

Last updated on: June 16, 2011 13:17 IST

UPA is 'playing tricks' over Lokpal Bill: Hazare

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Accusing the United Progressive Alliance government of "playing tricks" with the people of the country, activist Anna Hazare on Thursday questioned the rationale behind sending two versions of the Lokpal Bill to the Cabinet for consideration.

Hazare warned that he would have to restart his protest at Jantar Mantar if a "weak" anti-corruption legislation is cleared by the government.

A day after the meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill failed to reach a consensus, the Gandhian said, "If you want to have two drafts, then what was the need for setting up a joint committee?"


Image: Anna Hazare

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'The government is playing tricks'

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"They (government) have wasted our time. We had our draft ready earlier and they too had theirs. Then why did they not bring this to the Cabinet earlier? The government is playing tricks," Hazare alleged.

After the government and civil society members failed to achieve any common ground at their sixth meeting on Wednesday, it was decided to forward two versions of the Bill to the Cabinet for its consideration.


Image: A file photo of policemen patrolling the site of Anna Hazare's hunger strike at Rajghat
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
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'If a weak bill is passed, then we will have to protest'

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While the government maintained that a single draft along with a note on issues of divergence will be forwarded to the Cabinet, civil society activists insisted that the Council of Ministers should deliberate on two draft bills.

Hazare alleged that the government did not have the "will" to enact a strong Lokpal Bill which has provisions to send corrupt people to jail.

"What is the point of according sanction to a weak bill? If a weak bill is passed, then we will have to protest. If it is a weak bill, then there is no gain for the people," he said.


Image: A supporter of Anna Hazare, dressed like Mahatma Gandhi, at Rajghat
Photographs: Vivek Prakash/Reuters
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'We are not getting any personal benefit'

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Hazare alleged that the government was simply wasting time.

"Bringing Lokpal Bill is not on the government's mind. We are not getting any personal benefit from this. What is the point of having a draft that cannot help India get rid of corruption," he said.

Hazare emphasised that a strong anti-corruption regime will benefit the poor of the country.


Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Reuters
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