Non-UPA parties share dais with Anna

New Delhi: Leaders of non-UPA parties today shared the dais with Anna Hazare during his one-day fast here backing him on a strong Lokpal but made it clear to him that it will be Parliament that will take the final call and civil society cannot expect all its demands to be accepted.

Congress and other UPA constituents kept away but prominent leaders, including those from the Left and the Right, came together on a visibly anti-Congress platform at Hazare`s symbolic fast at Jantar Mantar, in protest against the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Lokpal Bill.

Most of the leaders concurred with Hazare`s demands for inclusion of Prime Minister, lower bureaucracy and CBI`s anti-corruption wing under Lokpal but they did not favour bringing higher judiciary under the ombudsman and argued for a separate mechanism to check corruption in it.

Arun Jaitley (BJP), Sharad Yadav (JD-U), A B Bardhan and D Raja (CPI), Brinda Karat (CPI-M), K Yerran Naidu (TDP), Pinaki Mishra (BJD), Ramgopal Yadav (SP) and S S Dhindsa (Akali Dal), who participated in a debate, promised Hazare that they would do their utmost in Parliament to pin the government down to ensure that Lokpal is effective. INLD also sent a nominee with a letter of support.

Before winding up his fast, 74-year-old Hazare targeted Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he was “not able to take decisions” and there are “three-four people” who think they are Prime Ministers, but did not take any name. He also attacked Rahul Gandhi, saying “spending one day in a hut is just not enough” for him to aspire to be a Prime Minister. Hazare appealed to opposition to join his agitation for a strong Lokpal if they do not have the numbers to correct the government in Parliament.