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Anna disapproves of draft of Lokpal bill

Anti-graft crusader unhappy with parliamentary standing committee for ignoring key demands such as citizens' charter, Lokayukta in each state

DISGRUNTLED by the draft of Lokpal bill approved by the parliamentary standing committee, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has come down heavily on the government. "The one-day token strike on December 11 is to protest the way the parliamentary standing committee is functioning," said Hazare. "I am just waiting for the winter session of the Parliament to get over. 


No compromises: Anna Hazare

Let us see if the House cares to pass an effective Lokpall Bill. Otherwise, I am ready to stage an indefinite hunger strike at the Ramleela ground in Delhi from December 27." Suresh Pathare, Hazare's PA, said the core points in the Jan Lokpal Bill suggested by Hazare was not included in the draft approved by the parliamentary standing committee.


Straight bat: Retired cricketer Kapil Dev at the second Indian Student 
Parliament at MIT. Pic/Krunal Gosavi 

"We have received the standing committee report in which three major points suggested by Anna were totally ignored.  He (Hazare) is furious because an assurance was given by the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh himself in a written letter," said Pathare. "Anna had categorically emphasised on forming a citizen charter, getting lower-level government officers under the purview of Lokpal and appointing Lokayukta in each state. Nothing was included in the new draft. This may lead to another national-level strike."

No need for FDI
Hazare also criticised the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy to be initiated by the UPA government for farmers. "The government has not learnt any lesson. The British who ruled India for 150 years had also come here for trade," he said. Sharad Joshi, founder-president, Shetkari Sanghatana, welcomed the FDI policy, saying strategic foreign investment would help farmers dictate agricultural goods prices.

Kapil backs Anna
Kapil Dev, former captain of the national cricket team, has officially declared his support for Anna Hazare and his movement for the Jan Lokpal Bill. "I am with Hazare only because he is doing good work for the nation," said Dev.  The cricketer was at the Maharashtra Institute of Technology (MIT) to talk to students about the the second students' Parliament to be organised by MIT in January 2012.

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