All party meet on Lokpal Bill : It's Anna's team Vs the rest

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Anna Hazare
New Delhi, Jul 3: With the much-anticipated all-party meeting on the Lokpal Bill scheduled to be held today (Sunday), the cards will be decked to showcase for those supporting and those against the UPA's version of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

After being in two minds on whether to attend the all-party meet, the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has finally decided to attend the meet on Sunday. The decision was conveyed by senior BJP leader LK Advani who said he was committed to a strong Lokpal. The meeting will discuss the UPA and Anna Hazare draft versions of the Lokpal and hopes to achieve a consensus on the version that needs to be presented in Parliament. But another strong member of the NDA, the Shiv Sena has decided not to attend the meet.

With the Gandhian Anna Hazare on a sensitization drive among all major political parties had met with leaders like LK Advani, Sonia Gandhi, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar, RLD Chief Ajit Singh and many others. He is also expected to meet others in the near future.

Following the meeting with Anna Hazare, Advani has been quoted as saying on the all-party meet, "After going there, we will express our views. Whatever we will say, we hope that a strong Lokpal draft is introduced which can stop corruption at all levels. In the last 6-8 months, there has been a strong public debate on Lokpal...We are hoping that that opinions of Opposition, civil society, etc will be considered."

With the Anna team clamoring for an effective Jan Lokpal Bill, the controversy on the inclusion of the Prime Minister under the Bill's ambit is still in a limbo. With the UPA speaking out loud and clear on its stand on the PM's inclusion, the Opposition BJP has still not made its stand clear yet. On this BJP President, Nitin Gadkari said, "We are yet to take a decision on this. Our committee is studying the proposals and we will respond in Parliament. "

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