New Delhi, Dec 29 (ANI): Veteran social activist Anna Hazare's key aide Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that the Lokpal Bill tabled in Parliament marked the common man's defeat in the fight against corruption.
"The Bill passed by the Lok Sabha was not the legislation of the Parliament. All Opposition parties had presented and suggested nearly 55 very good amendments to the Bill, but it was the legislation of the ruling party. The ruling party bulldozed the Parliamentary Bill," said Kejriwal.
"We saw how a weak and bad Bill was presented and passed by the government. This is not our defeat. This is the defeat of all Indians. The government has slapped all concerned citizens, who came out in protest of corruption by presenting this Bill," he added.
Kejriwal further said the ruling Congress Party was being rigid and inflexible in accommodating the suggestions of Opposition factions and the civil society in the Ombudsman Bill.
"It appears that the ruling party has become stubborn and adamant on the issue of the Ombudsman Bill. They used to allege us for taking the stance of my way or the highway, but they themselves have adopted this attitude. They are adamant on bringing forth a weak Ombudsman bill that will boost corruption without caring about the mass protests. This stubbornness of the government was clearly reflected in the Parliament debate," he said.
Further rubbishing reports that suggested the support to Anna Hazare was fizzling out, Kejriwal said: "It is absolutely wrong to assume that support to our campaign has decreased in any way. This was the protest of the masses. The people of this country are fed up with corruption. On December 11, Anna Hazare held a fast in New Delhi. Thousands of people turned up in his support."
Team Anna members Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and Kumar Vishwas returned to New Delhi on Thursday a day after the ailing social activist ended his fast for a strong Lokpal Bill in Mumbai and returned to his village Ralegan Siddhi.
Hazare, who gave up his threat to demonstrate in Delhi and commence the Jail Bharo Andolan, has however, threatened the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government that he would campaign against the latter in five poll-bound states for not brining a strong and an effective anti-graft bill.
The Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by the civil society members led by Hazare had envisaged the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India. (ANI)