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Team Anna to decide future strategy after studying Centre's Lokpal Bill draft


December 20, 2011 - Pune

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare's key aide Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that they would announce their future strategy after studying the government's draft of the Lokpal Bill.

"We will decide our future strategy after studying the government's draft bill. At present it (proposed fast by Hazare) is certain. I am going to discuss latest developments with Anna," he said.

Meanwhile, another Hazare aide Manish Sisodia said that they would till December 22 to see whether the anti-graft bill is tabled in the Parliament.

"We will wait till 22nd (December) whether the Bill is tabled or not. Then we will announce our strategy after discussions with everybody. But it seems, in the light of latest developments that proposed fast on 27th will take place," said Sisodia.

"What will people do with a weak Lokpal? A common person wants to fight corruption and wants to raise his voice against it. What will Lokpal do if it doesn't have investigation powers?" he asked.

Anna Hazare earlier in the day reiterated his demand of bringing an effective Jan Lokpal bill in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

"If we extend or don't extend the Winter Session, it doesn't matter, just bring an effective Lokpal Bill," Hazare told the media at his native village Ralegan Siddhi.

The Winter Session of Parliament was today extended for three days from December 27 to 29 for the smooth passage of the Lokpal Bill.

Moreover, the Union Cabinet is expected to discuss the draft of the Lokpal Bill in New Delhi 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 said 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.

ANI

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