Activists to meet PM on Lokpal Bill

Last Updated: Sun, Mar 06, 2011 17:00 hrs

New Delhi, March 6(IANS) Eminent social activist Anna Hazare, along with Swami Aginvesh, Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan and Kiran Bedi will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Monday to discuss the enactment of the anti-corruption Lokpal Bill.

The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) had March 3 invited Hazare for a discussion on the bill after he threatened to go on an indefinite fast in the capital.

'It was only when Anna Hazare threatened to go on an indefinite fast that the prime minister invited us to discuss the bill. It's good news for us,' Kiran Bedi, former top cop and Magsaysay award winner, told IANS Sunday on the sidelines of an award function.

She said the group may also include yoga guru Baba Ramdev.

Veteran activist Hazare had announced Feb 26 that he would go on an indefinite fast at the Jantar Mantar from April 5 if the prime minister does not act decisively on the Lokpal Bill.

An anti-corruption rally was organised Feb 26 by eminent social leaders like Swami Agnivesh and Arvind Kehriwal under the aegis of Baba Ramdev demanding stringent laws against corruption and black money stashed in foreign banks.

The Lokpal Bill 2010, which awaits a select parliamentary committee's nod, creates an ombudsman body and also provides for filing complaints of corruption against the prime minister, ministers and MPs.

However, the activists say that the bill in its present form is toothless and that they have drafted a separate Jan Lokpal bill taking view and suggestions from civil society and common people in account.

The activists' bill demands that the Lokpal and Lokayukta, who will be the corruption watchdogs, be independent bodies unlike the Central Bureau of Investigation, which is under the government and can not function independently.

It also emphasises on time-bound investigation.