New Delhi: BJP on Wednesday assured social activist Anna Hazare, who sat on an indefinite fast yesterday to press for passage of the Lokpal Bill, that it is fully committed to the issue but accused the government of diluting the proposals of the proposed legislation.
Hazare had written to Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley seeking BJP's support in passage of a strong Lokpal Bill at the earliest. In his reply, Jaitley clarified that the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha in December 2011 and pending in the Rajya Sabha is not the Jan Lokpal Bill espoused by Hazare.
The BJP leader has alleged that government has diluted the Lokpal Bill by dropping some of the suggestions made by the Rajya Sabha Select Committee.
"The Select Committee report is to be placed before the Parliament. It is only the Parliament which is entitled to amend or accept the same. However, the government has erroneously chosen to place the report before the Cabinet on January 31, 2013 and further diluted the recommendations," he said.
He pointed out to Hazare in his reply that even the diluted bill has not been listed by the government on the agenda of the ongoing Winter Session.
"It appears that the government is not sincere in getting it placed on the said agenda. I can assure you in view of the public position my party has adopted that we will be second to none in pursuing this issue," Jaitley said.
Underlining that his party is fully committed to the highest norms of public accountability and believes that Lokpal should be brought into force immediately, he said it can, however, not agree to a "sarkari" Lokpal.
Jaitley was a part of the Rajya Sabha Select Committee along with party colleagues Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Bhupendra Yadav.