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Digvijay Singh slams Anna's move to fast in Mumbai

December 20, 2011 - New Delhi

Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh on Tuesday hit out at veteran social activist Anna Hazare, saying the latter's decision to hold an indefinite fast in Mumbai is a stint to raise funds for his NGO.

"I do not know why they are shifting to Mumbai. Probably my hunch is that it is not cold because there are far greater opportunities to collect money and funds for their NGOs," he told the media here.

According to reports, Hazare, 74, has been granted permission by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority to use its ground in Bandra-Kurla complex from December 27 for his fast.

Accusing Team Anna of having a political agenda behind their campaign, Digvijay Singh said Hazare and his aides are trying to dictate their terms on the Central Government, which has offered its best for framing of an effective Lokpal Bill.

"Well, they have a political agenda and no matter what the government does or says, they would always find one way or the other to oppose. Now there are different thoughts and different proposals, the government has given hearing to each one of them and now allow the collective wisdom of the parliament to frame the law," said Singh.

"If there is anything missing it can again be amended but this kind of a threat that you pass only what we have said is I think not only dictatorial but not right in a functional democracy," he added.

The Union Cabinet is expected to discuss the draft of the Lokpal Bill this evening. If it gets the Cabinet nod, the anti-graft bill would be introduced in the current session of Parliament.

Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid had on Monday said the ministers have cleaned up the draft of changes in the anti-graft bill.

"Now, the Union Cabinet will have to look in to the drafted bill and this will only happen when there will be signal from the Prime Minister," he told the media here after a high-level meeting of ministers chaired by Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

Communications and Information Technology Minister Kapil Sibal was present in the meeting along with Chidambaram and Khurshid.

Despite assurances from Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh that the government is committed to bring in a strong and effective Lokpal Bill in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament, Hazare has threatened to go ahead with his proposed indefinite fast from December 27 and court arrest agitation from January 1, 2012, if the Bill was not passed in the current Winter Session of Parliament.


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