Push for Lokpal not linked to Hazare's fast: Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Dec 14 : Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi Saturday said the Lokpal bill tabled in Rajya Sabha Friday was "much stronger than anything before" and denied the government was hurrying with it in view of the AAP's pitch for a strong bill and Anna Hazare's fast.

Answering questions from the media at a press conference here, Gandhi said the government was working on the bill "full time".

Asked if there was urgency in passing the bill in view of the Aam Aadmi Party's pitch for a strong Lokpal bill, he said the legislation was held up due to disruptions in parliament.

"We have been working full time. (We are) 99 percent there. It is much stronger than anything before," Gandhi said.

Gandhi, accompanied by union ministers Kapil Sibal, P. Chidambaram and V. Narayanasamy at the press conference, denied that the United Progressive Alliance government was working under any pressure.

He said the government was providing "a serious weapon to fight corruption similar to RTI (Right to Information)".

On a query about Hazare's fast, Gandhi said it was the government's job to give a strong Lokpal bill.

"He is on fast. It is his perspective," Gandhi said.

"We are 99 percent there. What we need is one percent movement from political parties," he said.

Hazare began a fast earlier this week at his Ralegan-Siddhi village in Maharashtra to push for the Jan Lokpal bill.

The Lokpal bill was passed by Lok Sabha in December 2011. The Rajya Sabha select committee examined the bill and gave its recommendations, many of which have been included in the revised bill tabled by the government in the upper house. The bill will go to the Lok Sabha again after it is passed by the Rajya Sabha.

--IANS (Posted on 14-12-2013)

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