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BJP Supports Anna's Bill, Asks Govt To Withdraw Its Version

PTI 25 Aug 2011, 21:09:14 IST
PTI

New Delhi, Aug 25: Opening up its cards for the first time on Anna Hazare's agitation, the BJP today came out in support of his Jan Lokpal Bill saying it should be made the basis of discussion in Parliament over creation of an effective ombudsman and asking the government to withdraw its version of the legislation.

“The BJP supports Jan Lokpal Bill proposed by team Anna.  It should be introduced in Parliament. We will make it as the basis of discussion. The Government's Lokpal Bill has gone to the Parlimentary Standing Committee. The Government can withdraw its Bill with the Opposition's consent,” BJP president Nitin Gadkari told a press conference at the party headquarters here.

He said he was worried about Anna Hazare's health and urged the Prime minister to take immediate steps to end the current impasse and help the Gandhian end his 10-day fast.

“BJP is with Anna Hazare on the issue of corruption and supports his movement. But the way the situation is deteriorating, it is not good for the nation. Keeping in view the interest of the nation and Anna's health, I appeal to the Prime Minister to take immediate steps. I hope a positive response from the Government,” Gadkari said.

The BJP leader also said the party was further discussing the Jan Lokpal Bill and would hold a meeting of its Parliamentary Board - the party's top decision-making body, later this evening.

The three sticking points on which the Government and Team Anna have locked horns are likely to be taken up during the BJP Parliamentary Board meeting.

The BJP president said, “We pray to Anna to end his fast, as we are concerned about his health. The government should take steps to help Anna end his fast.”

He said Anna's Jan Lokpal Bill be made the basis of discussion in Parliament and BJP will support it. Don't go into procedures. If the government gives any written assurance to Anna on this, then Anna should decide on ending his fast.  It is the demand of the common people in society and nation's interest.”

The BJP chief also denied allegations of “match-fixing” with the government and said the question now was the appointment of Lokpal.

On Anna's demand for keeping the Prime Minister under the Lokpal, Gadkari said the BJP is clear in its position that the top post should come under the purview of the ombudsman.

“Whether Prime Minister comes under the Lokpal or not, BJP has made it's position clear. BJP supports bringing the Prime Minister under Lokpal. Former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had first supported this.”

Gadkari, however, said, “It's (bringing PM under Lokpal) detailed part, could be worked out after discussion in Parliament. I am sure a good solution will come out which should be implemented. There should also be a discussion on bringing the Judiciary under the Lokpal.”

He said the issue is now between Government and Anna Hazare. “Taking in view the situation arising out due to corruption, we ask for an immediate solution.” PTI