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BJP questions UPA-II Government's intention on Lokpal Bill

New Delhi, Sun, 25 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi/Kanpur, Mar 25 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday questioned the UPA-II Government's intention over the Lokpal Bill even as veteran social activist Anna Hazare was observing a day-long fast here.

BJP spokesperson Balbir Punj said the government was not interested in passing a strong and effective Lokpal Bill.

"The government is not honest in this matter. That is why, whether it is Baba Ramdev or Anna Hazare, they have to undertake protest-fat to put pressure (on the government)," said Punj.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi however, reiterated the government's commitment to pass the bill.

"As far as the Lokpal Bill is concerned, the government is committed to it. Everybody knows that the government is trying. We lack a majority in the Rajya Sabha. But we want to pass it by taking all political parties into confidence. If Anna Hazare wants to protest, that is his right," Alvi said.

Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal refused to attack Hazare on the issue.

"It is not meant to pressurize the government. I don't accept it. There is no problem if he is on a fast for a good cause," Jaiswal said in Kanpur.

Hazare's fast will last from about 11.20 a.m. to 6 p.m. this evening. He has decided to go on a fast over a demand that Parliament pass the Lokpal Bill and a stronger whistleblower protection programme.

Families of murdered whistleblowers like S Manjunath and Amit Jethwa are likely to be at the fast venue. Over 1,000 police personnel will be deputed at Jantar Mantar during the fast.

Delhi Police have given conditional permission to Team Anna to protest on the issue of alleged killings of several honest men and officers by organised mafia or in terror attacks.

This will be the first hunger strike undertaken by 74-year-old Anna Hazare after he called off his three-day fast for a strong Lokpal Bill in Mumbai last December owing to failing health.

Sunday's fast comes two days after an inconclusive all party meeting on the Lokpal Bill at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official 7, Race Course Road residence.

Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is likely to join Hazare at the venue of the fast.

Hazare has said that he will continue his crusade for the Lokpal Bill till the 2014 general elections. (ANI)

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