New Delhi: Anna Hazare Sunday appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to show courage in passing a stringent Lokpal bill, like he did on the India-US civil nuclear deal, to give the country something to remember him by.
In his four-page letter, Hazare noted that it is not sure whether the Congress will give Manmohan Singh another chance to become the prime minister, so he should use this opportunity to push for a stringent anti-corruption law.
“You have turned 80 and this country has given you everything. Now the county is asking something in return… show courage to push for a stringent Lokpal bill. You had put your government at stake for passing the civil nuclear liability bill, now show courage for a strict anti-corruption law,” Hazare said.
“There is no guarantee that you will again get a chance to become the prime minister so you should do something that country can remember you always. We request you to replace the present bill with a strict bill.”
Listing out the “loopholes” in the Lokpal bill passed by the Lok Sabha in winter session last year, Hazare said: “The bill passed by the Lok Sabha is a betrayal of the trust of the nation. During my fast in August last year, I was assured by parliament of bringing a strict Lokpal bill.”
“It is also a betrayal of parliament, as the sense of house was not kept in your Lokpal bill. You did not keep the supremacy of parliament,” he wrote. Hazare also questioned as to why the government is “scared” of liberating the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) from its control.
“The government did not let amendments moved by the opposition get passed in the Rajya Sabha. Do you really think the bill passed by the Lok Sabha is strict enough to check corruption in the country,” he asked.
He wrote that Team Anna had decided to tour the poll-bound states and inform the people about the Jan Lokpal bill and that the team will continue to do so till the government brought in a strong Lokpal.
Hazare has also written separate letters to Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Nitin Gadkari, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati and Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav asking their stand on anti-corruption law. The anti-corruption crusader noted that each of their parties have given tickets to candidates involved in corruption or having criminal background.