Lokpal Bill:Is Team Anna losing steam under UPA's pressure?

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Swami Agnivesh
Guwahati, Jul 8: After Anna Hazare and his civil society backed team gave the government sleepless nights over the proposed Lokpal Bill, it looks like Team Anna is slowly loosing its steely resolve. After arm twisting and some amount of cajoling, Anna's team has softened its stand and has decided to set aside egos for the cause of the common good, which is a strong Lokpal Bill.

The matter was revealed in a comment made by a strong member of Team Anna and social activist, Swami Agnivesh. He added that Anna would support the Centre's Lokpal draft if it presents a strong one in the monsoon session of Parliament.

Agnivesh commented, “We hope that the government would put up the draft in the first week of August. We will support the UPA government's move. If the government does not introduce the bill as we have proposed, under leadership of Anna (Hazare) a movement will be started across the country to put moral pressure and peoples' pressure on the government."

But determined to garner support for a strong Lokpal draft, he also issued a veiled warning during a public gathering in Assam and said, “If the government does not introduce the bill as we have proposed, then I appeal to the people of Assam to recall through a peaceful movement the people they have sent as their representatives to Parliament. Otherwise, hundreds of communications will be sent daily through phones, emails and letters to educate the peoples' representatives vis-a-vis the Lokpal Bill."

Focusing on the rampant corruption in Assam, he said that there was "mega corruption" involved in the construction of dams. The reason he quoted was due to the involvement of political leaders in the building. He also promised that he would highlight the issue in the Centre of the problems faced by the common man due to the building of mega dams here.

On the larger issue of governance, Agnivesh suggested a campaign for the launch of "village parliaments" in as many as seven lakh villages across the country. He stated on this, “We, on behalf of the people, want to tell the members of Parliament that the people are supreme and not they. The MPs should realise they are the peoples' servants and should not think they are greater than the people."

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