Team Anna lobbies for strong Lokpal

Talking to reporters, senior CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, who sought  speedy enactment of a strong Lokpal legislation, said: “The main concern of the Left parties is that the bill should be brought in the current session of Parliament and preferably adopted”.

The CPM has been supporting Team Anna’s many such demands for strong measures to combat corruption which did not gain support among other political parties. Inclusion of prime minister and lower bureaucracy in the ambit of Lokpal bill is one among them.

Yechury assured that he would pass on the suggestions given by Team Anna to Left members in the Standing Committee dealing with the drafting of the bill. He said the discussion on Lokpal bill was an ongoing process and  “this was neither our first nor our last meeting with Team Anna”.

Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan said the team members explained various aspects of the bill to CPM leaders.

“We are meeting all parties to explain our position. The Standing Committee has been saying that CBI, prime minister, judiciary, lower bureaucracy and grievance redressal cell should be kept out of the Lokpal.

“This is not good. If you want a strong Lokpal then everybody from PM to peon should be included,” he said. Bhushan reiterated Team Anna’s stand that judiciary, lower bureaucracy and grievance redressal should be within the purview of Lokpal.

He also asserted that the Lokpal should be independent of the government.

Another member of the team Arvind Kejriwal said they would wait for the Standing Committee to come out with its report before commenting on its proposals. Team Anna members Kiran Bedi and Manish Sisodia also attended the meeting.

Paswan threatens to quit panel

LJP supremo Ramvilas Paswan on Friday threatened to resign from the Standing Committee on Lokpal if Centre fails to ensure representation of SC, ST, women and minorities in the proposed Lokpal, reports PTI from Patna.

“I will resign from the Standing Committee considering the proposal for Lokpal if my demand for giving representation of SC, ST, women and minorities is not met,” Paswan said. He said he had already made his intention clear during the meeting of the panel.

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