I will not die till Lokpal Bill is passed: Hazare

I will not die till Lokpal Bill is passed: Hazare

Making an appearance on the dais a little before noon, the 74-year-old Gandhian raised slogans of 'Bharat Mata ki Jai' thrice and waved to the crowd to assure them that he was alright.

"Doctors have examined me. There is nothing to worry. I have lost six and half kg. By God's grace and the energy I receive from you, there is no difficulty.

"Now I have faith that I will not die till the Lokpal Bill is passed," he told cheering supporters gathered at Ramlila Maidan where he is sitting on an indefinite fast demanding a strong Lokpal.

Earlier in the day, doctors said they were concerned about the health of Hazare as his fast entered the 10th day.

"We have examined him this morning. There is stability in his blood pressure and heart beat. He has taken rest. He had six litres of water and the ketone levels have come down," Dr Naresh Trehan told reporters here.

Trehan said it was a "matter of concern" that for the past 10 days, Hazare was on fast and that he has not eaten anything.

"This will have an effect on his body...Till now, he has already managed for 10 days and he is stable. We are monitoring his health round-the-clock," he said.

Singh said he was of the view that "this will meet the point that Anna Hazare and his team have been making that Parliament must have a chance to debate the Bill drafted by them. This is one via media which will respect Parliament's supremacy and enable Parliament to take on board the Jan Lokpal Bill," Singh said.

He said he had given thought on the issues raised by Team Hazare in "great depth".

Lauding Hazare, Singh said he had "made his point and that has been registered with us. I respect his idealism. He is the embodiment of people's disgust with corruption."

Amid thumping of desks, he said Hazare should live a long and happy life in the service of the people.

"I respectfully request him to end his fast. This will be a befitting finale of the debate on corruption," Singh said.

Swaraj supported the Prime Minister's appeal and said the nation was committed to bringing a strong and effective anti-graft legislation.

Reflecting the sentiments of the House, the Speaker hoped that Hazare would get the unanimous message of the Lok Sabha and end his fast.

Contending that the government would "work with single minded devotion to leave behind for posterity" a bill to meet the challenge posed by corruption, Singh said "we are open to all suggestions and we will work with all sections for a strong and effective Bill on which there is a national consensus."

He said the government has a bill that reflects its thinking. But "we are open to persuasion and have an open mind."

Singh took strong exception to personal attack by the Opposition that he was "conniving with corruption" and asked Leader of the Opposition to check his assets to see whether he had made any money. 

Outlining details of the recent developments including differences at the Joint Committee to draft anti-corruption legislation, the Prime Minister said Hazare had gone on fast with his demand that Jan Lokpal Bill should be adopted by Parliament.

Noting that the government's bill has been referred to the Standing Committee, he said the panel "can consider all options and we can find ways and means of ensuring that the bill that has been prepared by Shri Anna Hazare is given due consideration by the Committee."

He said the government was open to all suggestions and "we will work with all sections of this House to have a Lokpal, who is strong, who is effective and about which there is a national consensus."

Describing corruption as a "multi-faceted" problem, Singh said his government was committed to fighting it and stressed need for collectively finding "credible solutions".

In this regard, he emphasised the obligation of states along with that of the Centre to "clean up the system" as there is "anger in the country" about misuse of public offices.

Giving details of the steps taken to check corruption, he said a Group of Ministers had made important suggestions to curb discretionary powers of Ministers.

"These will be considered by the Cabinet and we will put in place a mechanism to reduce the scope for misuse of discretionary powers or to eliminate discretionary powers wherever it can be done without detriment to public interest or achievement of public good," he said.

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