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TIES between Anna Hazare and his former protege Arvind Kejriwal reached a new low on Sunday with Hazare associate Kiran Bedi accusing the Aam Aadmi Party chief of trying to keep the issue of the Lokpal alive for political purposes even though most of their demands regarding the Bill had been met.
Hazare denied Kejriwal’s claim that he had been misled by “some people” to believe that the government’s Lokpal Bill was strong and effective. He wouldn’t try convincing AAP otherwise though, Anna added, as “it wasn’t an important enough party”.
Speaking to mediapersons on the sixth day of his fast, Hazare said that he had read the draft Lokpal Bill tabled in the Rajya Sabha and was satisfied with the provisions. “I don’t want to die fasting to demand that each and every suggestion made by me should be included. I want to live because I want to start future agitations for more pro-people laws. I am satisfied with the current draft and I want to break my fast if that Bill is passed,” he said.
Kejriwal, however, continued his attack on the government Bill, calling it “a far cry from the Jan Lokpal Bill which had been drafted by Team Anna” following the fast at Ramlila grounds. “Leave alone ministers, not even a rat will go to jail on the basis of this Bill. No proper investigation will be possible under it,” the AAP chief said at a press conference in Delhi, repeating that the proposed legislation was a “Jokepal Bill”.
Hazare said he was not a gullible child to get misled by anybody. “I have pressured governments (state and Union) to enact seven pro-people laws so far. Even when the Ramlila Maidan protest was on, I communicated directly with the Prime Minister without discussing with any associates. I take my decisions based on my experience and understanding; I am not a gullible child. I do whatever I think is good for society and the country. If you think this Bill is not good enough, then you should start your own movement to improve the law,” he said.
When asked if he would engage AAP to get their support on the Bill, he said it was not an important enough party. “How many MPs do they have? Why should I engage them?”
Bedi, who is fasting alongside Anna, said: “I don’t know why Arvind is creating so much clamour. Anna wants a strong and