After Rahul's push for Lokpal, Anna Hazare hails draft bill

Anna Hazare

Anna Hazare, fasting for the last five days for passage of Lokpal Bill, said on Saturday he was happy with the amended legislation presented in the Rajya Sabha and would call off his hunger strike the moment the law is enacted.

"I will call off my fast as soon as the bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha, the Lok Sabha endorses it and the President signs it into a law," Hazare told reporters, shortly after Rahul Gandhi made a strong pitch for passing the bill, describing it as a "very, very powerful instrument" in the fight against corruption.

Hazare said several of his expectations from the legislation have been met and expressed satisfaction over the bill which was presented in the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

"I am satisfied with whatever I have seen of the draft bill and so I welcome it," he said.

The Gandhian, who is observing his fourth fast for anti-corruption ombudsman, said some issues he wanted to be incorporated into the bill might have been left out but he was not disappointed.

"If I try to impose my view on Parliament, it will be wrong. Parliament has its own place of prominence, it doesn't matter if 2-3 things have been left out," he said.

Hazare expressed satisfaction over the selection process of the Lokpal which would be appointed by a collegium that would include an eminent jurist selected through consensus by its other four members--the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India.

He said bringing the Prime Minister within the purview of the Lokpal and both CBI and CVC under its control were good steps.

"We had been insisting for a long time on freeing CBI from government control", he said.

Hazare said the draft bill also recommends setting up of Lokayuktas in states. "This is good. If state governments don't set up Lokayukta now, the people would take to streets," he said.

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