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Anna threatens to go on another agitation as all-party meet fails to evolve consensus

New Delhi, Fri, 23 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar 23 (ANI): With the all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh failing to evolve a consensus on the Lokpal Bill, veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Friday dared the government that he would now go on another agitation to fight for the enactment of a strong anti-graft bill.

"We are asking for a law like the whistleblowers law, but the government is still not ready. We will sit at the Jantar Mantar on 25th for a strong Lokpal Bill. And we believe that if the government does not bring a strong Lokpal Bill before the 2014 general elections then we will have to sit for a bigger movement. May be, we will sit at the Ramlila Maidan and then the people of the country will take on to the streets," said Hazare.

"Have you seen the results of the assembly elections in five states? The government will have to face dreadful results in the 2014 general elections if it does not bring the Jan Lokpal Bill. There is no war or infighting between the government and us. We are demanding it for the better future of the people of this country," he added.

Hazare, 75, also threatened the government that he would tour the country with an aim to make the people aware about the rampant corruption that is prevalent in the country.

Meanwhile, Team Anna member and RTI crusader Arvind Kejriwal echoing similar sentiments on the Lokpal Bill said the developments in the last one year create doubts on the intentions of the government.

"Narendra Kumar was killed. Had there been a bill like the Jan Lokpal, we would have saved many whistleblowers like him. Yesterday, a new scam of around Rs. 11,000 crore came forward; the government did not perform well in the assembly polls in five states. Despite all these, if the government does not come up with a strong law then it is sad," said Kejriwal.

"Secondly, when the entire nation is ignited in the fire of corruption and it has become difficult for the common man to survive. If the various political parties fail to arrive at a consensus on that issue then it is a matter of sorrow. There is a need to sit together and arrive at a consensus and bring a strong Lokpal Bill," he added.

Rajya Sabha leaders including senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arun Jaitley met at the Prime Minister's official 7, Race Course Road residence, here to discuss the bill, to which 97 amendments have been moved by Opposition members in the Upper House.

Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Defence Minister A.K. Antony and Union Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid were also in the meeting.

The Prime Minister's decision to hold the meeting came in the backdrop of divergent views of different political parties.

The Lokpal Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in Winter Session of Parliament 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 Anna Hazare, who led a campaign for the measure. It could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha on the last day of the session for want of time, as there were a lot of amendments.

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

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