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PM likely to call all party meeting on Lokpal issue on Friday

New Delhi, Wed, 21 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.21 (ANI): The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, is likely to hold an all-party meeting this Friday on the Lokpal issue.


Dr.Singh's decision to hold the meeting comes less than aweek after veteran social activist Anna Hazare accused his government of playing with the sentiments of the people by continuously changing its stand on the Lokpal Bill.


Last week, Hazare had said that he was ready for an open debate on the anti-graft bill.


"We have been trying to bring Lokpal bill since past one year but the federal government has always changed their stand, be it the joint committee, standing committee, in the Parliament or the letter written by the Prime Minister," said Hazare.


"After witnessing this, we have decided that we will not approach the government. We will not ask them to do this or that for bringing this law. However, if the government says that they want to have debate on Lokpal bill, then we are ready for it but we will not run behind them," he added.


Hazare said he would tour the country with an aim to make the people aware about the rampant corruption that is prevalent in the country.


"The Central Government does not want to wipe out corruption. They do not want to build a corruption free India. I will educate the people about their hypocrisy and after that I will set out on a nation-wide tour for a year and a half to create awareness among the people on the issue," said Hazare.


"I am now a 75-year-old youth through naturopathy. I am fit enough to fight against the government. And once the notification of the 2014 Lok Sabha poll is issued, I will sit at Ramlila Maidan with people in my front holding the tri-colour like they did on August 16 last year," he added.


Hazare further said that the miserable performance of the ruling Congress Party was a result of backing out to bring the Lokpal Bill.


"If the Congress had brought the Jan Lokpal bill then they would have not failed so badly in the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections nor would they have lost the Goa seat," he said.


Earlier, Congress party spokesman Rashid Alvi had rubbished the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for questioning the UPA Government's commitment to passing an effective Lokpal Bill.


"Both the party and the government are committed to passing the Lokpal Bill in Parliament. We will list it in the Rajya Sabha in the first part. We do not have majority in Rajya Sabha, but we will try to ensure that it is passed in the first part of this budget session," Alvi had said last week.


Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley has been demanding a resumption of a debate in parliament on the Lokpal Bill, and added that the government cannot postpone the debate indefinitely.


Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said: "The Lokpal Bill could not be passed on the last day of the winter session because time was short, and there were a lot of amendments. There is a rule that the notices of the earlier session are nullified and not carried over to the next session, so we are accepting new notices on it."


"We have to go through them and analyse these notices. I just want to confidently declare and assure everybody that the Bill is pending. A strong and effective Lokpal will be brought into effect by the government," he added.


The Lokpal Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in the winter session in December 2011.


The Rajya Sabha broke up for recess on December 29, 2011 without voting on the bill to create a Lokpal before the deadline set by activist Anna Hazare, who led a campaign for the measure.


The opposition in the Rajya Sabha has asked the government to set a date for the discussion of the Bill and on three amendments related to the Bill. (ANI)


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