Bardhan, colleagues on 24-hour-long fast for Lokpal
New Delhi: CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan along with senior leaders of the party today sat on a 24-hour-long fast demanding passage of Lokpal Bill in the Winter Session of Parliament and taking immediate steps to control price rise.Bardhan and senior leaders, including D Raja, Amarjeet Kaur and Atul Kumar Anjan, sat on hunger strike at Jantar Mantar and defended their decision to hold this mode of protest, saying it is one of the various forms of protest.Addressing the gathering, Bardhan said a mere Lokpal would not weed out corruption but it will help in fixing accountability.He said the Bill should be passed in the Winter Session of Parliament.Asked whether the intention of the government appeared honest in getting the bill passed, he told reporters that in the past 42 years, it was not so."However, it seems that now the government has learnt some lessons after the Anna Hazare protest," he said, adding they won`t rob the credits from him for highlighting the issue of Lokpal in a bigway. "If Parliament has to sit through the night, it has to and get the bill passed," he said.He said political parties did not barge into the Hazare agitation in Jantar Mantar. "They said political parties should not be part of the joint committee. Why should we barge into it?" he said.Raja said it was political parties which took up the issue of Lokpal. Even in 2004, he said, the CPI insisted that passing of Lokpal be part of the Common Minimum Programme of the UPA government.