Three days ahead of the all-party meet on the Lokpal bill, the Opposition appeared toe be in no mood to play ball with the government and raise its comfort level for dealing with the threat of a prolonged agitation by civil society activists. The NDA, which is trying to rope in other non- UPA parties to evolve a common strategy at the meeting, wants the bill to be first ratified by the Union Cabinet or the prime minister.
Though the NDA’s approach on the issue will be decided at the alliance’s meeting here on July 2, Bihar Chief Minister and JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar has made it clear that he would not bail out the Congress, which was at loggerheads with Anna Hazare .s team. “Let the government open its cards and say what it wants to do on crucial issues such as bringing the prime minister under the purview of Lokpal. We shall give our views after the Cabinet approves and puts up a draft.
We are not here to bail out the Congress ,” he said after a meeting with Anna Hazare. Attacking the Centre, he said the UPA was facing a series of scams and the anti-corruption movement led by people who have some credibility was hurting it. “By asking for the opinion of political parties and state governments , the Centre is seeking an escape route.
Why should I provide them an escape route,” Nitish Kumar asked. Hazare, who addressed the media along with Nitish Kumar, described the chief minister as a “grassroots leader” . Activist Kiran Bedi, who also met the chief minister, said Kumar favoured the Jan Lokpal at the state level. Economic Times