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Lokpal row: Anna slams govt, to fast again from Aug 16

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Press Trust Of India
New Delhi, June 16, 2011

With the talks on lokpal bill deadlocked, Anna Hazare today alleged that government was "playing tricks" and threatened to resort to agitation again if a strong anti-corruption bill was not passed. In a press conference, civil society member Arvind Kejriwal alleged U-turn by Centre and said,"Anna Hazare will again go on a fast from August 16.
Hazare also questioned the rationale behind sending two versions of lokpal bill to the Cabinet for consideration.

"If they bring a weak bill, certainly will have to go back to agitation. It appears that the government is going back on its promises. We may have to revive our Jantar Mantar agitation which was stopped for sometime," he said.

A day after the sixth meeting of the joint drafting committee on lokpal bill, he said he did not understand the need for setting up a joint committee to draft the bill if it was to send two drafts to the Cabinet for consideration.

"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," 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.

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.

"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.

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