AAP rejects Lokpal Bill

New Delhi, Dec 15 : The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday rejected the Lokpal Bill to be presented in Parliament on Monday saying that unless the investigating body like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is free of political and government influence the bill will not have any purpose.

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal told a press conference: "If the CBI [Central Bureau of Investigation] is not outside the influence of the government the bill makes no sense. The government is not willing to make CBI an independent body."

He said the bill in the present form is not acceptable to AAP.

"They fear that if the CBI is independent may be even the Prime Minister will go to jail in coal allocation scam," he said.

AAP leader Prashant Bhushan said even if the amendments to the bill are accepted, the Lokpal Bill that would be presented in Parliament will not be able to fight corruption in this country.

The probe agencies themselves- be it CBI of Enforcement Directorate- all are under the control of government, said Bhushan.

"There should be a completely separate body of Lokpal and it will not be under the government. We asked for a seven member body to elect the Lokpal where only two members are PM and the Leader of the Opposition," he said.

Kejriwal on Saturday expressed surprise at activist Anna Hazare agreeing to the revised Lokpal bill tabled by the government in parliament.

"I m really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari lokpal bill? Sarkari lokpal is a "jokepal". Who is misguiding Anna?" the AAP chief tweeted.

"What does this jokepal achieve? CBI has not been made autonomous. CBI will continue to be under govt's control," he said.

"So why did Anna agree for such a jokepal? Which forces are misleading him? I am really sad," Kejriwal tweeted.

"Whatever Anna may say, we will continue our fight for janlokpal bill till our last breath," he added.

In a reply to Kejriwal's comment, former IPS officer and social activist Kiran Bedi tweeted, "Lokpal is certainly not a Jokepal!Those who term it this way perhaps want to keep d issue alive & not want it get started against corruption."

Stung by poll debacle in Delhi and other parts of India, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said his government is committed to passing a strong anti-corruption Lokpal Bill at the earliest, urging the parties to rise about differences for greater good.

While the Bill was stalled in Lok Sabha by the Samajwadi Party on Friday and social activist Anna Hazare is on a fast in his native village in Maharashtra to demand a strong anti-corruption law in the form of Lokpal, Rahul Gandhi along with party stalwarts like P Chidambaram addressed the media and assured passage of the bill at the earliest.

"Our job is to give this country a powerful Lokpal Bill. What we need, we are 99 percent there. What we need is one percent movement from political parties in this country. If we work together we can finish and deliver the Lokpal," he told reporters.

"We should put aside small little differences we have and get together," said Gandhi.

He said all parties are for Lokpal Bill except that there are differences of opinion and that should be overcome to pass the bill.

--IBNS (Posted on 15-12-2013)

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