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Government version of Lokpal Bill unacceptable: Karat

August 20, 2011 - New Delhi

The government's version of the Lokpal Bill is unacceptable, said Communist Party of India Marxist (CPM) chief Prakash Karat.

Terming it weak and ineffective, Karat urged the government to work on a strong and effective Lokpal Bill that would include several of the proposals mooted by social activist Anna Hazare and other civil society representatives.

"The agitation and movement led by Anna Hazare for the Lokpal Bill. The nine parties who are here and who are also representatives in parliament, we are of the unanimous opinion that the government bill on the Lokpal is unacceptable to us. It is a weak and an ineffective bill and we want an effective Lokpal legislation," Karat told the media here on Friday.

Hazare has been campaigning against corruption and nepotism in public life for years.

Fumbling as support for the anti-corruption crusader surged across the country, the government first jailed Hazare, on Tuesday, then ordered his release and finally, when he refused to leave, then granted Hazare permission to stage his fast for 15 days.

Karat expressed concern when he said that nations must also introduce a mechanism to curb corruption in the higher judiciary as well and consequently a bill needs to be passed in the parliament to monitor judicial accountability.

"We have decided that we will jointly take up this issue and campaign and mobilise people to see that an effective Lokpal legislation is taken up in parliament and adopted. According to us the fight against corruption requires other measures too that is apart from the Lokpal law. We have to have a mechanism to curb corruption in the judiciary and therefore the judicial accountability laws that has to be passed," said Karat.

Karat also said that effective measures needs to be taken to unearth black money stashed abroad.

"The third measure we want is the electoral reform laws to curb money power and criminality in the political system and in the elections. The fourth is to effective measures to unearth black money and bring back the illegal money stashed abroad. So in these issues of fighting corruption, we the nine political parties have decided to take this issue all over the country," said Karat.

He also appealed that all the nine parties would hold a protest across the country on August 23 to fight against corruption and black money and would intensify further if demands raised by them will not get fulfilled by the government.

Hazare has in the meanwhile called on the nations' citizens to launch a "second freedom struggle" to ensure "Victory to Mother India".


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