No problem if Lokpal is granted Constitutional status: Hazare

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Anna Hazare
Pune, Dec 1: Anna Hazare on Thursday said he has no objection to making Lokpal a Constitutional authority provided there is no government interference in its functioning, contrary to his team's stand that the move is a delaying tactic.

"I am not opposed to the Lokpal being made a Constitutional authority on the lines of the Election Commission which is an autonomous body. But there should not be governmental interference in its functioning," Hazare said.

A Lokpal, with the status of a Constitutional authority, had been proposed by Congress General Secretary Rahul Gandhi in an intervention during a debate on the subject in the Lok Sabha.

However, key team Anna member Kiran Bedi had questioned the government's move, terming it as a tactic to delay or avoid its passage and "fool" the people.

"If government is serious on Lokpal, it should first pass the bill by winter session. Constitutional status is a sure means to delay or avoid the passage of the bill," she had said, adding "Constitutional status is a way to kill the Lokpal bill as then two-third majority is needed which will be far more difficult."

Hazare said it was 10 years ago that EC had written to the government on 'right to reject', but still it has not been made into a law.

The anti-corruption crusader wondered why some people were opposed to bringing the prime minister within the ambit of Lokpal.

"If prime minister is included, it will raise the status of the institution of Lokpal. If one is clean, why should he be afraid of such inclusion?"

PTI

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