File-AP Photo/Altaf Qadri
Kiran Bedi Backs Lokpal Bill, Anna Says Govt Has Betrayed
Differences cropped up in Team Anna with Hazare today dismissing the amended Lokpal Bill as "ineffective" and a "betrayal" by the government but Kiran Bedi feels the new proposals address most of their concerns.

Addressing a press conference, Hazare threatened to go back to the people if the government did not keep its promise of bringing a strong Lokpal Bill. He specifically demanded making CBI and CVC independent bodies on par with Election Commission.

"The Government has been betraying us and people of the country repeatedly....If required, I will go back to Ramlila Maidan to demand a strong and effective Lokpal Bill," he said.

However, Bedi backed the proposed legislation and expressed happiness over the amended Bill paving the way for constitution of a collegium to select the chief of Central Bureau of Investigation.

"From nothing to something to more, as we move on! This is how we can read the lokpal bill! Unless we want to stay at nothing!" she tweeted. She also said most of the concerns have been addressed in the draft and cited the appointment of CBI chief and other changes as positive ones.

"(CBI's) its Anti Corruption wing has been brought under oversight of Lokpal. Which is what we needed!" she said.

Her remarks contradict Hazare's stand that the amended Lokpal bill was a "farce".

Rejecting the Lokpal Bill, Hazare said the fight against corruption will not be effective if government did not relinquish its control over CBI and CVC.

Hazare also criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh accusing him of failing to keep his promise on specific demands based on which he had ended his 12-day-long fast in August 2011.

The Union Cabinet yesterday amended the controversial Lokpal Bill, delinking it from the setting up of Lokayuktas in the states and transferring powers of sanction of prosecution against public servant to the ombudsman.

The Cabinet accepted 14 of the 16 recommendations made by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee, which was set up in May last year amid sharp differences among political parties because of which the legislation was stuck in the Upper House since December 2011.

Hazare said he will travel across the country to make people aware about "government's betrayal" and to motivate them to elect those with clean image in the 2014 general elections.

The activist alleged that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has failed to keep his written promises on Lokpal, which he gave in August 2011, specially on three issues of bringing class I, II, III, IV employees under the purview of Lokpal, forming Lokayuktas in states and citizen's charter.

"In his letter, the PM had said that class I, II, III and IV officers would be brought under the Lokapl, Lokayuktas would be formed in states and citizen's charter would be prepared. But all these three points are missing from the one passed by the Union Cabinet," he said.

The Gandhian also said the government had not been true to its promises since he started his agitation on the issue two years back. "If government will keep on telling lies then what will happen to the country."

Asked about Rahul Gandhi's statement that "power is poison", he said if it is poison, then "why the government and the parties are after it and why don't they leave it. It's not poison but it is like addiction."

On the issue of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being projected as future Prime Minister, the activist said, "I have doubts that if he becomes Prime Minister he would do any good for the country... He had not appointed a Lokayukta in his state then, how can we expect a Lokpal from him".

On being asked about supporting his old colleague Arvind Kejriwal, who formed Aam Aadmi Party, he said, "I will not support him or his party or any party. I will support any individual who has a good character and a clean image."
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3/D-98
Feb 01, 2013
08:12 PM

 Anna has too much expectations from the govt. No govt will Axe its foot by bringing Jan Lok Pal as demanded by Anna Hazare.

Ashok Gupta, Indore
2/D-89
Feb 01, 2013
06:29 PM

Missed opportunity boss .... don't know if your magic can be re-created. Anyways, no harm in trying. You had the Governing Class running around in circles and you let them off the hook, which was always ALL they wanted at that moment. They knew once you let go of their throat, the moment will pass, they would have time on their side to then have you run around in circles.

Round 1 went to you, Round 2, 3, 4 .... went to them. The battle was lost - the key question is can the war be still won. Odds of course are stacked against.

Do you seriously expect the Governing Class, of any kind and any dispensation, pass a bill that hurts their primary interest? What you did was declare "war" on their interests (and profession) and as they say "all is fair in love and war", including betrayal. So you got betrayal.

If in 2014 (or even by 2019 or whenever) you can make Corruption THE issue on which those generally ack'ed as corrupt lose elections, not much can change. This will be tough as for now most elections are decided by factors related to the accidents of birth - name, caste, religion on top - forming vote banks and their permutations/combinations in your favour. Then of course there is freebies, gifts, money, alcohol and coercion - though given the EC these are probably not primary factors (except freebies which start before the EC starts watching). You need to work with Kejriwal and the aam-admi party - help him show one can win on a clean image and also show that taint of corruption assures loss.

Arun Maheshwari, Bangalore
1/D-78
Feb 01, 2013
03:51 PM

unless and until the anti-corruption bodies and investigating agencies are free from political interference the betrayal will continue.

Indian, Bangalore
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