Lokpal bill: Hazare accuses Govt of betrayal

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Anna Hazare
Chennai, Dec 18: Casting doubts on government’s intentions over Lokpal bill, Anna Hazare on Sunday accused it of repeatedly betraying his team and said he is firm with his agitation plan if an effective anti-graft legislation was not passed in the ongoing Winter session of Parliament.

Addressing a rally here, he alleged there has been repeated betrayals by the government despite assurances, “which has made us sceptical about the passage of the bill.”

“If it is passed, it is fine or else protests only. I will present flowers to the Prime Minister on December 27 if the bill is passed,” Mr. Hazare, who has threatened to go on a fast from December 27, said.

He also made it clear there could be no compromise on bringing the CBI under Lokpal.

“We should ensure there is no space in jails on January 1,” said Mr. Hazare, who is here to drum up support for his campaign for an effective anti-corruption bill.

Mr. Hazare, who arrived here from Bangalore, said if the government does not awaken on its promise on Lokpal bill, then the jail bharo would be launched.

The 74-year-old Gandhian said there is nothing shameful in going to jail as national leaders have done so in the past for the sake of the country.

Speaking to reporters later, Mr. Hazare said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh “is clean and straight forward, but cannot act due to remote controls, who consider themselves to be the Prime Minister.”

Mr. Hazare said he did not fear death and would feel honoured if he died in the service of the nation.

“People die of heart attacks... I do not fear death... I would feel honoured if I die in the service of the nation,” the social activist said.

He asked people to strive for wiping out corruption from the country, saying, “I have taken six wickets (of Maharashtra cabinet ministers who were corrupt)...100 officers have been sent home (who were corrupt)... If each of you take even one, India will be free from corruption.”

Mr. Hazare said some people have filed 11 cases against him and asked them to file another one to make it a dozen. “Put one more case and it be a dozen,” he said.

The Gandhian said he had left his home many years ago and had never gone back, while continuing to work in the service of the nation. He also recalled how he was saved from bullets only to life a life which was dedicated to the nation.

PTI

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