Forget mouse, Lokpal Bill can ensnare even a lion: Anna Hazare

Anna's lokpal can ensnare even a lion
Ralegan Siddhi, Dec. 16: In a sharp rebuff to Arvind Kejriwal's criticism that the Lokpal Bill in its present form was incapable of sending to jail even a mouse, Anna Hazare today said the legislation was good enough to ensnare a lion.

"You are talking about mouse. I feel the Bill has provisions to trap even a lion," Hazare, whose indefinite hunger strike to press for passage of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament entered the seventh day today, said.

Hazare's snub to Kejriwal came on a day government reaffirmed its commitment to passing the bill, saying it was its "highest priority" and that it was prepared to even extend the Winter Session of Parliament for that. Rajya Sabha was to take up the bill today but could not owing to death of Union Labour and Employment Minister Sis Ram Ola.

"The Lokpal Bill is the highest priority of the government. It is a historical Bill for the country... The nation needs it... We want both the Houses of Parliament to pass it in this session. If needed, we will extend the Parliament session. If required we are also ready to sit till late hours to pass it...The Lokpal Bill is a very important priority for the government", Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said after a Congress Core Group meeting attended by the Prime Minister and party chief to chalk out a strategy for passage of the bill.

Hazare said his life had been blemish free.

"I don't have a single blot on my character," he said. Paying tributes to last year's Delhi gang rape victim, Hazare said: "All women are our mothers and sisters. We should look at them in a similar manner."

Hazare paid tributes to the martyrs of Bangladesh war and also Ola. Meanwhile, Hazare's aide Suresh Pathare told PTI that he has lost 4.3kg since the fast began.

While Hazare has praised the amended draft Lokpal Bill presented in the Rajya Sabha, his one time protege Arvind Kejriwal has dismissed it as a "jokepal".

Addressing a press conference in Ralegan Siddhi yesterday, Hazare had said: "I accept it completely. If this bill is passed, I will end my fast. The bill will help the poor people of this country".

Hazare has requested the Samajwadi Party, which is opposed to the bill, to back the legislation. "I am confident that all parties will support it, and it will be passed," he said.


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