BeyondHeadlines Staff Reporter
New Delhi: A team of social activists led by Anna Hazare today declared that the government version of the Lokpal Bill is unacceptable to them and renewed pledge to continue their campaign for a strong and comprehensive anti-corruption legislation.
Addressing reporters outside the Noida residence of eminent lawyer Shanti Bhushan, noted RTI activist Arvind Kejariwal said, “The draft of the Lokpal Bill prepared by the government and cleared by the Union Cabinet is totally unacceptable to us since it is anti-poor, anti-farmer and lacks various points suggested by us (civil society).”
Kejariwal further stated that Anna Hazare has enormous support from all quarters and there will be no change in his plan to hold an indefinite fast from August 16.
“Today we have received a letter from Delhi Police in which they have denied us permission to hold the hunger strike at Jantar Mantar. They (Delhi Police) have cited two reasons for this. First they have asked us to define the indefinite fast…..how long will it continue. Secondly, they have asked us to tell them exactly how many people will join Anna Hazare at the venue of his indefinite fast.”
The RTI activist informed that the civil society activists have decided to send one more letter to Delhi Police seeking permission to hold fast on any of the five venues: Shahid Park, Raj Ghat, Boat Club, Jantar Mantar and Ramlila Maidan.
The civil society members have no objection in holding fast at any venue within three km radius of Jantar Mantar, if it is well connected by means of transport, Kejariwal said.
Meanwhile, Anna Hazare is also going to issue an appeal to all MPs seeking to oppose the introduction of the Lokpal Bill cleared by the Cabinet for discussion in Parliament tomorrow.
The letter will be released by this evening. The announcement was made shortly after the civil society members concluded their meeting to chalk out its future strategy.
The meeting also comes a day before the government’s planned move to introduce its version of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament on Wednesday.
The government has already rejected the Jan Lokpal Bill prepared by Team Anna and got approval for its version of the Bill from the Union Cabinet.
The move didn’t go down well with the civil society members with Hazare announcing he would again sit on hunger strike beginning August 16.