Day 3 of Anna’s fast: Bedi backs draft Lokpal Bill, AAP leader calls it a joke

PuneAAP leader Kumar Vishwas speaks at the venue of Anna’s indefinite hunger strike at Ralegan Siddhi, Ahmednagar, on Thursday. PTI

Day 3 of Anna Hazare's fast witnessed sharp divides between Hazare's aides and former team Anna members on the draft of the Lokpal Bill that will be placed before the Rajya Sabha. While Kiran Bedi and environmentalist Vishambhar Chowdhury have welcomed the draft, AAP leader Kumar Vishwas called the draft 'jokepal'.

On Thursday, Bedi had said, " After reading the draft, I have come to the conclusion that it satisfies to around 75-80 per cent the suggestions made by Anna in his draft. It is important that the Bill gets passed now. We can continue to strengthen it through amendments."

The main four points which Bedi said would work in the Bill's favour included the composition of the Lokpal, the constitution of a search committee, freedom to start investigations and the appointment of an eminent jurist. Bedi said this Bill would be a fair one.

"The opposition has made enough amendments and I was told that they are waiting for the government to make more amendments to make the Bill stronger. It is the duty of the government to introduce the Bill now," she said.

However on Thursday, Vishwas, who had led a delegation of AAP members to meet the fasting Hazare at Ralegan Siddhi came down heavily on the present draft. Declaring that they will not rest till the Bill is passed in toto, Vishwas said the draft Bill was weak and ineffective.

"Anna will not have to fast for the Bill. We will ensure that it is passed in its total strength," he said.

Bedi questioned the former's assertion and asked how AAP would pass the Bill. "The time has come to persuade Anna to give up his fast and carry on his agitation. If the government fails to table the Bill on Monday, he can start his fast again," she said.

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