Anna steps up pressure on PM; mentions other items on agenda

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Anna Hazare-PM Manmohan Singh
New Delhi, Sept 23: With the UPA dogged by multiple issues, the Jan Lokpal Bill and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's campaign seem to have been moved to the sidelines. Anna, however seem to be determined to bring his effort to a logical conclusion and is driven to bring about a strong Lokpal Bill.

Stepping up the pressure on the government, Anna said that there were other pressing issues that need urgent addressing including tackling corruption in judiciary, electoral reforms and amendments to the land acquisition bill.

Anna Hazare, once again had written a letter to the PM and stated that a Lokpal Bill was not enough to root out corruption in the country. He said in the letter, "It gives me no pleasure to agitate but when I sense the government is creating obstacles, I have no choice but to fast.''

Stressing that electoral and land reforms were essential, Anna also said that the present Judicial Standards and Accountability bill cannot curb judicial corruption effectively. He added that a new law should be drafted to look into such issues.

Meanwhile, Anna Hazare together with other key members Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi have decided to go on a yatra to poll-bound states to campaign against those candidates who did not support the Jan Lokpal Bill. They will campaign in the Hissar constituency by-election.

Broaching the subject of the 'right to reject' once again, Anna's letter on Sept 21 said that electoral reforms can be achieved only with 'right to reject'. To bring about changes in election laws, voters should be given an option if they felt that the elected representatives were not up to the mark.

On the land acquisition bill, he stated in his letter, "'The Centre and the state should not be allowed to acquire any land without the permission of the gram panchayat." He also mentioned the effort by former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi where he took the opinion of gram panchayats for the 73rd and 74th amendment to the Constitution.

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