Ready to take on Govt and Oppn over Lokpal Bill : Hazare

Ready to take on Govt and Oppn over Lokpal Bill : Hazare

Pune: Unfazed by the resistance from the Government and some quarters to the civil society’s demand for inclusion of the prime minister in the ambit of the proposed Lokpal Bill, noted Gandhian Anna Hazare on Tuesday asserted he would not hesitate to fight against Opposition parties that did not support a strong anti-corruption ombudsman.

“If they are not ready to support our major demands for a strong Lokpal Bill, including bringing prime minister within the ambit of the Lokpal, we shall wage a fight against Opposition parties along with the ruling Congress," he said.

Hazare said this when asked what would be the stand of civil society led by him if during his parleys with the leaders of the Opposition parties, starting on Wednesday, they failed to endorse the contentious inclusion of prime minister in the purview of the Lokpal, as advocated by “Team Anna".

The septuagenarian anti-corruption crusader, speaking at a “Meet the Press’ organised by Pune Union of Working Journalists (PUWJ), said “We shall then go to the people and appeal to them not to vote for these political parties (opposed to a strong Lokpal)."

Asked whether Prime Minster Manmohan Singh was “afraid" of his office being covered by the Lokpal, the veteran social activist made a cryptic remark, saying “Manmohan Singh is not afraid. But there is a remote control!"

Hazare said he would be meeting all party presidents, including Sonia Gandhi, in his proposed interaction on the Lokpal draft across the political spectrum.

Queried why was he going to meet Gandhi when Congress was opposed to his agitation, Hazare said “it was part of the democratic process in our discussions."