Anna 'satisfied' with Lokpal Bill, will break fast if passed

Anna HazareAnna with Kiran Bedi in Ralegan Siddhi on Saturday. PTI

Anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare said on Saturday he was "satisfied" with the amended Lokpal Bill presented in Rajya Sabha and will break his fast if the Bill is passed in both Houses of Parliament.

He said though the Bill differs from the original Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by Team Anna in April 2011, he was satisfied with the "new" and "strengthened" Bill after amendments by the Select Committee.

The government has constituted three separate Bills — Whistleblower Protection Bill, Citizen Charter Bill and Judiciary Bill — and if they are also passed, it will help stop corruption to a great extent, he added.

Launching a veiled attack on Aam Aadmi Party, which had termed the present Bill as "Jokepal", Anna said those who are unhappy should launch a fresh agitation, which won't have his support.

"I have been shown the Lokpal Bill draft and informed of the 16 key points. I am satisfied that as per this Bill, the Lokpal will have control over the CBI except that it would not appoint it's director. This is acceptable. Also, the composition of the Lokpal — four retired High Court Chief Justices and four other experts — will give it strength and authority. Government employees from Class I to Class IV have been brought under the purview of Lokpal. I believe that all this will give justice to poor and empower them," he said.

"On Monday if this Bill is passed in both Houses and then signed by President, I will break my fast," he said.

He also exhorted the Samajwadi Party to stop opposing the Bill. "I request Samajwadi Party with folded hands to support the Bill because the Lokpal will strive to bring real samajwad by helping poor." Anna also wrote a letter to SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav.

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