Insinuation flew thick and fast even before the fist meeting of the joint committee set up to draft an effective Lokpal Bill, as Anna Hazare, one of its members, on Monday asked HRD minister Kapil Sibal (another member from the government side) to resign from it “if he feels nothing will come out” of the institution of such a group.
Mr Hazare’s colleagues in “India Against Corruption”, the banner under which the social activist had launched a campaign for a stronger Lokpal Bill, Kiran Bedi and Arvind Kejariwal, also criticised Mr Sibal for his comments. The minister, however, later denied that he made any such statement which meant to undermine the value of the joint committee, and instead made it clear he was with Mr Hazare in aiming for strong anti-corruption legislation.
The man of the moment, Mr Hazare, who led a successful battle for the constitution of a 10-member committee of ministers and civil society representatives, said: “If Mr Sibal feels that nothing will happen after the Lokpal Bill is enacted, then he should resign from the joint committee as soon as possible.”
Anna Hazare, meanwhile, returned to his native village, Ralegan Siddhi, in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district Monday, to a hero’s welcome. He was carried in a victory procession in a makeshift “vijay rath”, Media reported from the village. Asian Age