Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pawar offer to quit,Anna not relenting

UPDATED  6/4/2011 5:15:57 PM

News 24 Desk

New Delhi: Veteran social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday rejected agriculture minister Sharad Pawar`s offer to quit from the Group of Ministers (GoM) meant to look into the amendments required in the Lokpal Bill. The crusader against corruption is on fast unto death for a stringent anti-corruption law. Hazare is pressing for enactment of the Lokpal Bill with stringent measures against corruption.
In a related development, former Haryana chief minister Om Prakash Chautala was shouted out of Jantar Mantar area by all those sitting with Anna.

Hazare said that Sharad Pawar should quit his ministry anyway. It may be recalled that Pawar had said he would be happy if he was relieved from the GoM on corruption.
When asked to react on Hazare`s remarks about him, Pawar made light of the issue, but said: "I will be happy if you relieve me from all GoMs, including that GoM (oncorruption)".
Pawar was asked whether he was disturbed by the comments that he should not be part of the GoM on corruption. He is supported by eminent persons including Kiran Bedi, has been demanding that the drafting committee for the Lokpal Bill to tackle corruption should include members of civil society.

Earlier, when pointed out that the BJP too had embarked on a anti-corruption campaign , the reformist said the party was taking advantage of the nationwide movement he had begun. "But, they are a political party and are free to do as they wish. In the past too, when I agitated against corruption in the BJP government, the Congress party supported me. Now, its the other way around", Hazare said.

On Tuesday, BJP leaders Maneka Gandhi and Prakash Javadekar visited Hazare`s protest site at Jantar Mantar but did not make any speeches. JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav too sat on the dais with Hazare and offered his support for the Jan Lokpal Bill and even said he was ready to take it up in Parliament. Hazare said he would not allow politicians to sit with him on the dais anymore. The anti-corruption champion began his fast yesterday and has been joined by thousands of people.
(With inputs from PTI)



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