Govt intentions over Lokpal Bill not good

Pune: An unrelenting Anna Hazare again chided the government, questioning its intentions in pursuing the course of a strong Lokpal Bill and charted out a programme of agitation for youths as a run-up to his proposed indefinite fast in Delhi from August 16.

Noting that the government was opposing the draft amendments submitted by his team in an effort to dilute the authority of the anti-corruption ombudsman, Hazare said, "An effort was made to defame the members of civil society on the joint draft committee for the Lokpal Bill and the government has activated its machinery to hound me.

"The intentions of the government are not good and they do not appear sincere in their approach to enact a law that would institute a strong and independent Lokpal to curb the menace of corruption eating into the social fabric."

Asking youths to prepare themselves for the agitation ahead, Hazare, addressing a public function here, urged them to undertake `prabhat pheris` in the morning and candle light marches in the evening from August 11, culminating into an hour long switching off electricity from 8 pm to 9 pm on the Independence Day (15 August) to "create a positive atmosphere" ahead of his proposed fast-unto-death to press for a strong Lokpal bill from August 16.

"Raise the slogan of `Bharat Mata Ki Jai` and `Inquilab Zindabad` and carry the tricolour on your shoulders during the processions from August 11. The government is not afraid of Anna Hazare. It is afraid of the power of people behind him which is supreme," he told a packed auditorium even as hundreds listened to him on big screens put up outside.

Earlier, Kiran Bedi, member of the civil society, spearheading the anti-corruption agitation under Hazare`s leadership, who delivered the Prakash Kardaley memorial lecture on the occasion, criticised the government draft of the bill saying it would not benefit the common man harassed by corruption in all walks of life.

"If you are fearless, you will get the Lokpal of Anna`s vision and if you are afraid, you will get the government`s Lokpal (with diluted authority)," she said.