Friday, April 8, 2011

Anna Hazare: Govt offers drafting panel

The Government on Friday reached out to veteran social activists and Gandhian Anna Hazare and decided to set up a joint drafting committee to bring out a strict anti-corruption law.

The committee will have 10 members out of which five will be ministers and the other five will be from the civil society. Hazare will also be one of the members of the proposed committee.Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed that that all the points that were raised by Hazare's supporters have been met. The Government has also decided to introduce the Lokpal Bill in the monsoon session of Parliament.
"All points of substance have been met. We have agreed for a joint drafting committee. We will introduce the Bill (Lokpal Bill) in the monsoon session. The committee will have five nominee ministers of the Government and five members of Hazare," said Singhvi while addressing a press conference in New Delhi.
"The Congress is with the crusade against corruption. We have shown that whenever there are credible allegations the Congress party has taken concrete actions and full transparency has been maintained. We are with the nation and with the civil society in this crusade against corruption. We are taking steps for the Lokpal Bill," he said.

The convenor of drafting committee will be Law Minister Veerappa Moily.
However, the Congress also took a tough stand against some activists and questioned the role of the civil society.

The party said that accountability lies with politicians and no responsible government could accept some of the demands that had been put forward by the anti-corruption crusaders.

Reacting to the Government's proposal, Hazare's supporters said that the there should be co-chairperson of the committee and a Government order should be issued for the same. The demand for a Government order is a climbdown from their earlier demand for a notification.

Hazare has launched a fast-unto-death at New Delhi's Jantar Mantar demanding strict anti-corruption law. His fast entered the fourth day on Friday and his crusade has spread like wildfire across the country.
Massive protests have been reported from several other cities including Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Kolkata, Patna, Bhopal, Jaipur, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, Nashik, Ranchi, Guwahati and Thiruvananthapuram.

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