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Kejriwal says ineffective Lokpal Bill will prove to be a curse for India


December 21, 2011 - Kaushambi

Accusing the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government at the Centre of diluting the intended Lokpal body by attaching riders to it, veteran social activist Anna Hazare's key aide Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said an anti-graft bill without inclusion of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) would prove to be a curse rather than a boon for the country.

"After this entire movement (in August 2011), everybody was hopeful that the Lokpal Bill would become stronger. But instead of making it strong, the government has totally diluted it. The power to investigate, which was confirmed in the month of August, those powers have been taken away from this Lokpal Bill and it is not left with any right to probe. Another thing that whatever are the provisions in the existing system of the CBI, the government is dividing even that," Kejriwal told the media here.

"So, this bill is so dangerous and if enacted, then the current anti-corruption system will be shut down. So instead of being beneficial, this bill is going to cause huge loss to this country and the entire country should protest against this bill and should not let it be implemented," he added.

Kejriwal further said Hazare is resolute about beginning his hunger strike to oppose the weak version of the Lokpal Bill.

"From December 27, Annaji will sit on a hunger strike for three days. After that there will be a 'Jail Bharo Andolan'and after that the five states where the elections are going to take place, we will launch awareness campaigns in those provinces," he said.

Anna Hazare had earlier in the day hit out at the Centre's draft, and said the government excluded the CBI from the Lokpal ambit to save Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

"If the CBI was brought under the ambit of the Lokpal, then Chidambaram would have been in jail. You are protecting the corrupt politicians and then you are saying that this is a strong Lokpal. What strong Lokpal? CBI has been kept out from the Lokpal," Hazare told the media at his native village Ralegan Siddhi.

Hazare further said the government draft of the Lokpal Bill is misleading.

"PM has to be responsible for and other people like the Army and others and it will continue like this and no stringent action will be taken. It is not a strong anti-graft bill. It is deceiving the people. They are cheating the people and the public will someday teach a lesson to these people," he said.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday approved a historic bill for creation of the Lokpal with Constitutional status. A new Lokpal Bill will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

Hazare has, however, written a latter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, and threatened to go ahead with his proposed three-day fast from December 27 for a strong Lokpal Bill.

ANI

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