Accusing the UPA of “playing tricks” with the people of the country, Anna Hazare on Thursday questioned the rationale behind sending two versions of Lokpal Bill to the Cabinet for consideration.
Mr. Hazare also said he would have to restart the protest at Jantar Mantar if a “weak” anti-corruption legislation is cleared by the government, which he alleged was going back on its promises.
A day after the “deadlocked” meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, the Gandhian said, “If you want to have two drafts, then what was the need for setting up a joint committee?
“They (government) have wasted our time. We had our draft ready earlier and they too had theirs. They why did they not bring this to the Cabinet earlier. The government is playing tricks,” Mr. Hazare alleged.
After the government and civil society failed to achieve any common ground at the sixth meeting yesterday, it was decided to forward two versions of the Bill to the Cabinet for its consideration.
While the government maintained that a single draft along with a note on issues of divergence will be forwarded to the Cabinet, the civil society side insisted that the Council of Ministers should deliberate on two draft Bills.
Mr. Hazare alleged that the government did not have the “will” to enact a strong Lokpal Bill which has provisions to send corrupt people to jail.
“What is the point of according sanction to a weak bill? If a weak bill is passed, then we will have to protest.
If it is a weak bill, then there is no gain for the people,” he said.
Mr. Hazare alleged that the government was wasting time.
“Bringing Lokpal Bill is not in government’s mind. We are not getting any personal benefit from this. What is the point of having such a draft that cannot help India get rid of corruption,” he said.
Mr. Hazare said a strong anti-corruption regime will benefit the poor of the country.