Don't elect MPs who are against Jan Lokpal Bill : Hazare

Last Updated 11 September 2011, 13:55 IST

Hazare also urged the people not to elect MPs, who are opposed to the Jan Lokpal bill, in the next elections.

"Watch the MPs on television and note those, who have opposed the Jan Lokpal bill and later 'gherao' their houses chanting bhajans in a non-violent protest," he said after a two-day meeting of the Core Committee of his anti-corruption movement, which concluded today.

"The government Lokpal draft was fraudulent. Corruption would increase if a legislation is passed on the basis of Government's draft," Hazare said.

Reiterating his resolve to continue his fight till the passing of the Jan Lokpal bill, the Gandhian said he would embark on a nation-wide tour next month to campaign for the cause.

Arvind Kejriwal, a key member of the core group, told reporters that the meeting had decided to hold a referendum in the constituencies of important leaders of all political parties and the MPs on Standing Committee, raising the question, whether the people should vote for MPs opposed to the Jan Lokpal bill.

The referendum would seek Yes or No to the poser, he added.

Briefing the media after the Core Committee meeting, Kejriwal said Anna Hazare would also take out a 'yatra' in the states, where the next assembly elections are due and people would be informed about the stand taken by various parties on the issue of Jan Lokpal bill, leaving it to their discretion as to for whom they should vote.

"We will tell people about the stand taken by political parties on the Jan Lokpal bill without supporting any particular political party. Let the voters make their choice in the elections," he said making it clear that the anti-corruption movement would not be supporting any candidates during their campaign to inform the people.

Kejriwal strongly refuted the charge made by Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh that he and some other members of the movement had a link with the RSS, which had arranged for refreshments for agitators on Ramlila Maidan.

"Singh is haunted by the ghost of RSS but we are not afraid of RSS," he quipped.

Kejriwal told reporters that in order to remove any possible misunderstanding in the minds of people, the core group of the movement would initiate legal proceedings against certain publications carrying articles alleging a nexus between its members and RSS.

"We will send a defamation notice seeking their apology," Prashant Bhushan, a member of Core Committee added.

Kejriwal said, in view of the allegations of corruption being made against Hazare and his team, the Core group has decided to constitute a 3-member committee of three retired high court or supreme court judges, who would investigate any such charges.

"These judges will be of impeccable integrity," Bhushan added.

Bhushan also appealed to the people to verify credentials of those, who are collecting donations using the name of Anna Hazare or India against Corruption.

As part of its efforts to ensure transparency, the core group members would put up a list of their assets on website and all audited accounts by October 15, Kejariwal said.

Elaborating on his proposed nation-wide tour next month, Hazare said, he would prefer to travel by train rather than plane to maintain his interaction with the general public.

"A plane takes you from one place and lands instantly at another. There is no interaction with common people during this kind of travel. If I also travel by plane, there will not be any difference between me and the ministers," he added.

"We shall continue our agitation till the Jan Lokpal bill draft of civil society is passed in Parliament," he asserted, adding that the government draft was an 'eyewash" that would encourage corruption instead of curbing it.

"I will fight till the last breath for this bill. I am an instrument in the hands of God," he said.

Medha Patkar, a Core Committee member said, people should be vigilant in monitoring future laws sought to be enacted by government, including the land acquisition and the biotechnology bill.

She called upon people to visit various government offices including ration office, collectorate and tehsildar and request the officials to fill in an anti-corruption 'oath' form to give a momentum to the stir in a non-violent manner.

(Published 11 September 2011, 11:28 IST)

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