Team Anna seeks to put different parties on mat over Lokpal

Team Anna seeks to put different parties on mat over Lokpal

In a bid to project a non-partisan face, Anna Hazare and his team today shot off a series of letters to leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Rahul Gandhi and BJP president Nitin Gadkari, trying to put them on the mat on the Lokpal issue ahead of Assembly polls in five states.

UP Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav were the other recipients of letters signed by Hazare and his team members Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi.

While in the letter to Singh, signed only by Hazare, the Prime Minister is asked to show some courage to withdraw the "weak" Lokpal Bill and bring a stronger one, the one to Gandhi asked the Congress leader whether his party will dare bring a law on the lines of "strong" Lokayukta law in Uttarakhand.

Gadkari was questioned as to why his party did not insist on Nitish Kumar government in Bihar in which it is a partner bringing a strong Lokayukta law like the one passed by BJP government in Uttarakhand. He was also asked why BJP changed tracks on bringing Lokayuktas through Lokpal bill.

Team Anna also found fault with BSP chief Mayawati for not opposing the bill in the Standing Committee and staging a walkout in Lok Sabha which, they alleged, helped the UPA government pass it in the Lower House.

Yadav, on the other hand, "strongly" opposed the bill in the Standing Committee but walked out in Lok Sabha, the Team Anna letter to him said while asking him to clear whether he would go with Congress or BJP after the UP elections.

Warning the Prime Minister that the fight for a strong anti-corruption ombudsman will not end till Jan Lokpal Bill is not passed, Hazare said in his letter, "You are 80-year-old now. The country has given you everything. Now people are asking something in return. Show some courage.

"You have put your government on stake for nuclear bill, which was wrong. Show some courage to bring Lokpal to fight corruption. We don't know whether Congress will give you another chance as Prime Minister but if you do this, the country will always remember you," he said.

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