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Will step in if Centre obstructs Delhi Janlokpal Bill, says Anna Hazare

anna-hazare

Ralegan Siddhi (Maharashtra): Social activist Anna Hazare on Tuesday said he will step in if the NDA government at the Centre puts obstructions in the way of Janlokpal Bill, introduced in Delhi Assembly by the AAP government.

The anti-corruption crusader was talking to reporters after Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh met him at his native Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district to brief him on the salient features of the Janlokpal Bill, tabled in Delhi Assembly by the Arvind Kejriwal government on Monday.

Hazare said that during his discussions with the AAP leaders, he expressed apprehension that the Centre may pose obstructions as the legislation provides for probing corruption in Delhi, where the central government offices are located.

“If that is the case then I assured them of my full support. I told them I am with them,” Hazare said when asked if he would launch an agitation on the issue.

He said the central government lacks the will to fight corruption and there should be no “parochial attitude” on the issue of dealing with graft.

Hazare and some top activists of his team had in 2012 parted ways with the Kejriwal-led group, opposing their plans to form a political party, after a roller-coaster ride of 18 months in which they came together to run a high-steam anti-graft movement.

One of its prominent poll promises, the AAP emphasised that the Bill is similar to its original 2011 version.

It will empower the proposed ombudsman to act against any public servant in the national capital, including those of the Centre.

While the draft bill of 2015 states that no prosecution or legal proceedings can be initiated against the Janlokpal or any staff member of the Janlokpal office, AAP leaders said the process of impeachment will be applied for removal of any member of the Lokpal.

The Bill has to be cleared by the Lieutenant Governor before it becomes a law.

PTI