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Concrete amendments are in progress to further strengthen Lokpal Bill: Yechury

December 26, 2011 - New Delhi

Asserting that the Lokpal Bill would be framed by Parliament and not by any other entity, Communist Party of India (Marxist) lawmaker Sitaram Yechury on Monday assured the implementation of an effective anti-graft bill.

Yechury said that the party members are apprehensive over certain provisions of the bill, as it is not strong enough to root out corruption from the country.

"Well, we are moving some concrete amendments which we think will further strengthen the Lokpal because the bill as it conceives of the Lokpal right now, we are not very happy in the sense that it is not an effective Lokpal," he told the media here.

Stating that the people should respect the decision of the Parliament, Yechury said: "Our constitution grants the right to the people of the country to hold a fast or to protest democratically to pressurize the government. Those who want to use fasting, candlelight march cannot violate the second principle of the constitution, that a law can only be formulated within the Parliament."

"By following the constitutional principles, they are using democratic rights. They should also respect the way a law is formulated within the Parliament," he added.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee earlier in the day said it is the prerogative of the Parliament to decide the final shape of the anti-graft bill.

"It is the job of the Parliament to make the legislations. We had several rounds of discussions with Anna Hazare and his team. I think nine meetings I had in the Joint Drafting Committee. Thereafter also through interlocutors, some discussions have taken place. We know their viewpoints, but it is for the Parliament to decide what would be the final shape of the legislations," Mukherjee told the media in Kolkata.

"We have brought the legislation for the consideration of the House, let us see. I cannot make any premature comment what would happen, how the Members of the Parliament will respond to the various provisions of the bill. As and when the discussions will take place, we will come to know," he added.

Team Anna has rejected the government's version of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, and termed it to be weak. They have been pressurising the government to accept their demands including bringing the CBI under the ambit of the anti-corruption ombudsman.

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare is now all set to launch his three-day token fast at the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA) ground in suburban Bandra-Kurla Complex tomorrow to mount further pressure on the government for a 'strong' Lokpal Bill.


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