Govt’s Lokpal Bill aimed at getting Rahul credit,sad that Hazare is supporting,says Arvind Kejriwal

Kejriwal's reaction comes at a time when the government is gearing up to pass the Bill in Rajya Sabha.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: January 10, 2014 12:52 pm

A day after anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazareexpressed his ‘satisfaction’ over the amended

Lokpal Bill, the Aam Aadmi Party led by social activist Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday yet again raised doubts on government’s version of the Bill saying passing this will get Rahul Gandhi some credit.

“The net result of passing this Lokpal is that Rahul Gandhi will get some credit,” said Kejriwal addressing the mediapersons.

The AAP chief also expressed sadness over Hazare’s support to the government’s Lokpal Bill. “I am a little saddened by Anna’s support to the government version of the Lokpal Bill,” he added.

Kejriwal’s statement comes a day after Hazare said that he was satisfied with the “new” and “strengthened” Bill after amendments by the Select Committee even though the Bill differed from the original Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by Team Anna in April 2011.

Notably,Kejriwal on Saturday said that Hazare was being misled on the Lokpal issue as he called government’s Lokpal Bill as ‘jokepal’. In a series of tweets,Kejriwal had expressed surprise at how Hazare could accept the Bill that was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Friday. “I m really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari lokpal bill? Sarkari lokpal is a “jokepal”. Who is misguiding Anna?” Kejriwal had tweeted.

“I can assure you that there would not be a single

conviction with this Lokpal in next 10 years. I pondered over

who will gain from this Lokpal Bill. I found that Congress

would gain and its Vice President Rahul Gandhi will get some

credit for its passage,” Kejriwal said.

AAP leader Prashant Bhushan also rejected government’s amended Lokpal Bill saying it will not curb corruption since the bill has many flaws. “The government’s Lokpal will be appointed by politicians with vested interests. There is no Lokayukta in this Lokpal bill nor does it provide protection to the whistleblower. Also,independent and unbiased investigation is not possible if we go by the government Lokpal,” Prashant maintained.

The amended bill delinks setting up of Lokayuktas in states,a highly controversial provision because of which many parties had opposed it in the House in December last year.

The new bill also grants powers to ombudsman to sanction prosecution against public servants.

Aam Aadmi Party’s reaction comes at a time when the government is gearing up to pass the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

With BJP promising support “even without discussion” on the Lokpal Bill,the Centre on Sunday expressed confidence that the legislation will be passed in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow.

“Chances are high that the Bill will be passed in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow,” Union Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy said.

He said Congress and its allies and BJP had supported the Bill even as Mulayam Singh Yadav’s SP,which provides outside support to the UPA government,has made its opposition clear.

On Saturday,speaking on the Lokapl issue,Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had appealed to all political parties to “put aside small little differences” and “get together and finish the job” on what he called “a matter of national importance”.

Meanwhile,BJP on Sunday alleged that ruling Congress is “not serious” about bringing Lokpal Bill and said the UPA government could have brought the anti-graft legislation long ago as there was consensus over the issue.

Commenting on powers of the Lokpal relating to the CBI,he said,”In the past 50 years of CBI,there are only four

convictions of political leaders by the agency. This is due to

the fact that they report to their same political bosses

against whom they probe a case. Had CBI been independent,then there was a possibility that even the Prime Minister might have been jailed in either 2G case or Coal scam.”

“Congress is not serious about Lokpal (Bill). The consensus had already emerged one year ago in May 2012. (In) one and half years,there were three peaceful sessions. They (Congress) could have brought the bill any time,” BJP spokesman Prakash Javdekar said in Hyderabad.

(With PTI inputs)

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