Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal Bill

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by kseeker, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    NEW DELHI: Politicians and top bureaucrats will face the heat as the Lokpal Bill to set up a strong anti-corruption ombudsman to probe corruption in high places received the overwhelming approval of the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

    The lokpal has tougher provisions as compared to the bill cleared by Lok Sabha in December, 2011. The bill, comprehensively reworked by a select committee of the Rajya Sabha, will be considered afresh by Lok Sabha on Wednesday.

    The PM will be under the purview of the lokpal with some safeguards. All ministers and senior public servants are covered by the proposed ombudsman that is a step away from parliamentary approval some 46 years after it was first mooted.

    The government accepted leader of opposition Arun Jaitley's suggestion that the select committee recommendation that a CBI officer investigating a graft case should not be transferred without the ombudsman's concurrence be incorporated in the bill.

    Similarly, an official will not be given a hearing at the stage of a preliminary inquiry. Both suggestions are part of the select committee's unanimous recommendations tabled in Parliament more than a year ago.

    Lokpal became top priority for the government after Congress lost elections in four major states and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made a stunning political debut in the Delhi assembly polls.

    The bill's passage in the Upper House on Tuesday evening is seen as the culmination of the popular anti-corruption agitation that swept India in 2011 when Gandhian activist Anna Hazare undertook three fasts for a lokpal.

    The bill was discussed without disruptions as Samajwadi Party MPs kept away from proceedings after party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday morning.

    With the principal detractors absent, the bill drew all around support, with the exception of the Shiv Sena, and the government also accepted two key amendments that had not been part of the bill when it was tabled on Friday.

    With the government accepting all the select committee's recommendations, the vastly transformed bill will be considered afresh by Lok Sabha on Wednesday. Once both Houses approve the legislation, it will be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for notification.

    Parliament has tried to pass Lokpal Bill eight times previously. The bills to create a lokpal to investigate corruption in high places lapsed seven times in the past while it was withdrawn once in 1985.

    The bill brings the PM under its purview with certain safeguards. It also covers ministers and MPs besides all government employees.

    Law minister Kapil Sibal, who moved the bill for passing, hailed the occasion as a "historic" day and hoped all states would pass similar legislations to set up Lokayuktas modelled on this bill.

    The Lokpal Act will be a model law for states who will have to set up lokayuktas within a year. Though it will be the discretion of the states to make some changes a Lokayukta will be a reality in all states.

    Jaitley, while supporting the bill, said he was happy the government had accepted all the changes in "this changed environment" — an oblique reference to the Congress getting a drubbing in assembly elections as well as strong pro-transparency movements.

    Sibal said the law alone would not eliminate corruption but it could help deal with those who are corrupt. On the issue of bringing the Prime Minister under the purview of the new law, he said the overall consensus was in this favour although there were some "discordant individual views" opposing it.

    Except for the BJP's demand that there should not be a provision for religion based reservations in the lokpal, the government accepted all the suggestions of the main opposition party without which it was not possible to pass the bill. The government saw the issue as one of representation rather than reservation.

    Left parties' demand to bring the private sector and NGOs under the lokpal was also not accepted. The CPM leader Sitaram Yechury, therefore, moved an amendment to bring public-private-partnership (PPP) projects in the ambit of the lokpal but it was defeated overwhelmingly by 151 against 19 votes.

    Sibal said the government intended to bring more legislations like the Prevention of Corruption Bill to fight corruption and they could be passed if the House functions properly.

    Defending the inclusion of judges in the lokpal panel, Sibal said it was done as "complex legal" issues are involved. Lawmakers cannot be part of it as it involves conflict of interest, he said.

    BJP member Ravi Shankar Prasad took a dig at the government saying, "Better late than never, had this Bill been passed in 2011, it would have been better... The person who becomes the lokpal must understand the enormity of the power."

    Prasad also thanked Hazare for his movement for the Lokpal Bill. However, he also took a dig at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal saying, "We know what people who were once with Anna are now doing."

    TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy questioned as to why judges should be heading institutions like the Lokpal Bill. He said this citing the sexual harassment case against former Supreme Court Justice AK Ganguly. Concluding his statement, Roy thanked the government for accepting suggestions on the Lokpal Bill saying, "We support the bill wholeheartedly."

    Congress MP MS Gill said he supports the bill, but had objection to bringing the Prime Minister under the proposed legislation. He said that there were other mechanisms to carry out investigations against the PM of the country. "The country must reduce the suspicion of Public Servants. They do great service to this country," said Gill.


    Ref: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal Bill - The Times of India

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Will this bill make any difference ? :noidea:
     
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  3. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    Rahul Gandhi present in the Lok Sabha today :O :O Surya aaj kis direction se nikla hai ? Reading the script ?? :pound:
     
  4. aragorn

    aragorn Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    This whole exercise is for Rahul Gandhi. Congress and media will give credit to RaGa for passing this bill. Somewhere in delhi a person called as Arvind kejriwal is sulking.


    His mentor has abandoned him. other political parties has hijacked his Lokpal bill.


    Yesterday they were arguing on %age decrease in corruption. it was hillllllarious. AAP's argument was Anna was telling corruption 80% decrease hoga lokpal se lekin ab woh sirf 40-50 % ki hi baat kar rahe hain kyon? :D
     
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  5. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    Congrats to all Indians ! LOKPAL BILL has been passed by Lok Sabha! :india:
     
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  6. kseeker

    kseeker Retired

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    Live: Lok Sabha passes Lokpal Bill amid protests over Telangana

    New Delhi: 12:55 pm: Anna celebrates the passage of Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha.

    12:48 pm: The Lok Sabha has passed Lokpal Bill amidst uproar over Telangana.

    12:40 pm: Mulayam Singh requests Sonia Gandhi to withdraw the bill. The Samajwadi Party boycotts the Bill and walks out of the Lok Sabha.

    12:30 pm: Rahul Gandhi said that the Lokpal Bill alone is not enough to fight corruption. "It is the responsibility of the 15th Lok Sabha to approve all six anti-corruption bills. Lokpal Bill alone is not enough to fight corruption. I request for extension of the session. Need to pass the Judicial Accountability Bill, the Whistle Blowers Bill," said Rahul.

    12:25 pm: Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said that the BJP is happy that Rajya Sabha has sent a strong Bill. "There has been a fight to take the credit for Lokpal Bill. It's Anna Hazare who should get the credit for this Bill. Anna has been fasting for a strong Lokpal Bill. It is the people of India who should be given the credit," Swaraj said.

    "We need a strong bill against corruption that fulfills the people's aspiration. I am happy that Rajya Sabha has sent a strong bill, with 15 amendments," she said.

    The Lokpal Bill has been taken in Lok Sabha for discussion on Wednesday after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. A four-hour debate has been fixed by the Lok Sabha Speaker for the Lokpal Bill.

    This comes after a rare moment of camaraderie when the Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA came together to ensure the smooth passage of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to take India a step closer to a strong anti-corruption ombudsman. The Bill was passed with several amendments.

    In the Upper House of Parliament all the major parties with the exception of the Samajwadi Party, which walked out in protest against the legislation, took part in the over five-hour long debate and hoped that after the Bill becomes a law, cases of corruption against legislators will be deposed off quickly. Calling the passing of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill a "landmark step", Prime Minister Manmohan Singh thanked all those who supported the move.

    Social activist Anna Hazare, who is on an indefinite fast for a strong Lokpal in Ralegan Siddhi, too thanked Rajya Sabha MPs for passing the Bill and wished that the Lok Sabha will pass it too. He said, "I will end my fast after the Lok Sabha passes the Lokpal Bill."

    A five-member Committee comprising of the Prime Minister, Speaker of Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Chief Justice of India and an eminent jurist will appoint the Lokpal. The first four members will select a eminent jurist as the fifth member.
     
  7. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    BJP played a very good role in Rajya Sabha even after knowing that most possibly BJP will be forming govt in 2014.
     
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  8. Patriot

    Patriot Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    I hope Lokpal gets good long canine & long hands.

    There shall be sufficient checks & balances and escape routes for the corrupt politicians otherwise it will be difficult to achieve the consensus.

    Anyway something is better then nothing.
     
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  9. sayareakd

    sayareakd Moderator Moderator

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    good start................
     
  10. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. kseeker

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    All you want to know about Lokpal Bill - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: Parliament on Wednesday passed the crucial Lokpal Bill with the Lok Sabha adopting the measure as amended by the Rajya Sabha after a short discussion. Following are the salient features of the amended Lokpal Bill.

    1. Lokayuktas: The new bill mandates states to set up Lokayuktas within 365 days. States have the freedom to determine the nature and type of Lokayukta.

    The old bill said the law shall be applicable to states only if they give consent to its application.

    The old bill gave power to the central government to appoint state Lokayuktas while the new draft gives this power to the states.

    2. Constitution of Lokpal: The Lokpal will consist of a chairperson and a maximum of eight members, of which fifty percent shall be judicial members. Fifty percent members of Lokpal shall be from among SC, ST, OBCs, minorities and women.

    The older version said the chairperson shall be the Chief Justice of India or a present or former judge of the Supreme Court or a non-judicial member with specified qualifications (chief justice or a judge of a high court).

    3. Selection of Lokpal: The selection committee will have Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker, leader of the opposition in Lok Sabha and the Chief Justice of India. A fifth member of the selection committee for selection of Lokpal under the category of "eminent jurist" may be nominated by the President on the basis of recommendation of the first four members of the selection committee.

    In the old bill, selection of the fifth person was left entirely to the President.

    4. Religious bodies and trust: The new bill includes societies and trusts that collect public money, receive funding from foreign sources, and have an income level above a certain threshold, it excludes bodies creating endowments for or performing religious or charitable functions.

    The old bill expanded definition of public servant by bringing societies and trusts which receive donations from the public (over a specified annual income) and, organisations which receive foreign donations (over Rs 10 lakh a year) within the purview of the Lokpal.

    5. Prosecution: In the new version, before taking a decision on filing a chargesheet in a case upon consideration of the investigation report, the Lokpal may authorise its own prosecution wing or the concerned investigating agency to initiate prosecution in special courts.

    Under the old bill, prosecution of the case could be done only by the prosecution wing of the Lokpal.

    6. Central Bureau of Investigation: For independence of the CBI, in the new bill a directorate of prosecution will be formed. Appointment of the director of prosecution will be on the recommendation of the Central Vigilance Commissioner.

    Transfer of officers of CBI investigating cases referred by Lokpal will be only with the approval of Lokpal who will also have superintendence over CBI in relation to Lokpal referred cases.

    7. Hearing: The new bill says a government servant will get a hearing before a decision is taken by the Lokpal.

    8. Prime Minister: The Prime Minister will be under the purview of the Lokpal with subject matter exclusions and specific process for handling complaints against the Prime Minister.

    9. Investigation: Inquiry has to be completed within 60 days and investigation to be completed within six months. Lokpal shall order an investigation only after hearing the public servant.

    Inquiry against the prime minister has to be held in-camera and approved by two-thirds of the full bench of the Lokpal.

    10. Penalty: False and frivolous complaints - imprisonment up to one year and a fine of up to Rs.1 lakh. Public servants - imprisonment up to seven years. Criminal misconduct and habitually abetting corruption - jail term up to 10 years.


    Lokpal's journey to transparency

    1966

    Morarji Desai led First Administrative Reforms Commission recommends setting up of Lokpal at Centre and Lokayukta in states to look into complaints against public functionaries, including MPs

    1968-2001

    Successive governments introduce Lokpal bill eight times

    2002

    Justice MN Venkatachaliah led Constitution Review Commission stresses the need for Lokpal and Lokayuktas

    2004

    UPA-I's national common minimum programme promises that Lokpal bill would be enacted

    2005

    Veerappa Moily led Second Administrative Reforms Commission reiterates that Lokpal be established without delay

    2011

    Jan: UPA-II's GoM headed by Pranab Mukherjee suggests a range of anti-corruption measures, including the Lokpal bill

    Apr 5: Anna Hazare begins his first fast at Jantar Mantar demanding enactment of Jan Lokpal bill drafted by his team

    Apr 9: Anna ends fast as the government forms a joint drafting committee consisting of ministers and civil society members

    Jun 21: The last meeting of the drafting committee ends with the two sides coming up with separate drafts

    Aug 4: Govt introduces a Lokpal bill, widely attacked as fl awed

    Aug 8: Bill referred to standing committee

    Aug 16: Anna launches second fast for Jan Lokpal bill

    Dec 22: Govt re-introduces Lokpal and Lokayuktas bill

    Dec 27: Lok Sabha passes bill

    Dec 29: Introduced in Rajya Sabha

    2012

    Re-introduced in Rajya Sabha. Referred to select committee

    2013

    Dec 10: Anna Hazare begins fast in his village in Maharashtra, demanding urgent introduction of a new anti-corruption law

    Dec 13: Amended bill tabled in Rajya Sabha

    Dec 18: Lok Sabha passes the ammended bill. Anna Hazare breaks his fast.

    (With inputs from IANS)
     
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  12. kseeker

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    After a long 46-year wait, India finally has a lokpal - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: After a 46-year wait, India is set to get a lokpal after the Lok Sabha on Wednesday took barely an hour to pass the landmark legislation to create a powerful anti-corruption ombudsman amid sustained disruptions by anti-Telangana MPs.

    Congress chief Sonia Gandhi introduced a note of urgency in the proceedings right at the start, crisply asking law minister Kapil Sibal to "keep it short" as he referred to prolonged discussions that preceded the bill.

    Disturbances in the House seem to weigh on Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar who guillotined the debate and swiftly put amendments to the Lokpal bill passed by the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to vote and declared the legislation as passed.

    After eight failed attempts to pass a Lokpal Bill in the past, Parliament finally gave its seal of approval to a powerful ombudsman. The bill has been drafted and redrafted by two parliamentary committees and now enjoys strong bi-partisan support.

    The lokpal will be empowered to investigate complaints of graft against the highest political authority, including the Prime Minister and his cabinet, and will be able to supervise the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) at every stage of a probe.

    Samajwadi Party (SP) and Shiv Sena opposed the bill while Biju Janata Dal (BJD) walked out in protest over not being given an opportunity to speak on the bill although the Odisha outfit said it was in support of the Lokpal Bill.

    The vote in Lok Sabha completes the process of parliamentary approval and the bill will now be sent to President Pranab Mukherjee for notification after which the selection process for the eight-member lokpal will begin.

    Despite a few digs at one another, BJP and Congress converged to push the Lokpal Bill through Parliament even as leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj made the point that the "real" credit went to Gandhian activist Anna Hazare.

    Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi in a brief speech promised that the government is committed to passing no less than six pending anti-corruption legislations while the bill's chief detractor SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav vehemently opposed it.

    The chaos in the House made meaningful discussion impossible and a tense parliamentary affairs minister Kamal Nath even got Sibal to put another legislation to vote, brushing aside the law minister's plea that "it is not my bill".

    Speaking on the proposed legislation, Rahul said the country needed an "anti-corruption code'' and it was the 15th Lok Sabha's responsibility to pass legislations that are a part of a "comprehensive anti-corruption framework" of the UPA government.

    Swaraj supported the measure but attacked the Congress for rushing to credit Rahul, saying "the people of this country and an old man (Anna Hazare) who has undertaken fast several times deserve the credit."

    Earlier, the Speaker allowed the bill, as amended by the Upper House, to be laid and taken up for consideration by the Lok Sabha.

    The bill was opposed by SP and Shiv Sena members who walked out to lodge their protest. Strongly criticizing both Congress and BJP, the SP chief said that all development work would grind to a halt. His concerns were echoed by JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav who supported the bill but expressed reservations on the contentious legislation.

    A sigh of relief passed through the treasury benches after the bill was passed by voice vote and the House moved on to the next business.

    Earlier when the Bill was taken up for discussion and passage, Trinamool Congress member Sougata Roy raised a point of order saying that the measure passed by the Rajya Sabha had been circulated among Lok Sabha members only today. He said that as per rules, a two-day notice should be given to members before taking up any legislation passed by the other House.

    Disposing of his point of order, the Speaker said she had consented for waiving the two-day requirement and the bill was laid on the table of the House this morning itself.

    Throughout the debate on the Lokpal Bill, supporters and opponents of Telangana continued raising slogans in the well.
     
  13. kseeker

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    Lokpal Bill: Rahul-Hazare bonhomie building up? - The Times of India

    RALEGAN SIDDHI: Soon after Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill, Anna Hazare broke his nine-day fast with a sense of "victory", but echoed Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi's words that the step is a half-way mark and a larger framework is necessary to weed out graft from public life.

    "Lokpal is going to put a brake to corruption. It will be able to help combat 50% corruption. However, this law will not stop corruption completely. We have a long way to go," Hazare said.

    Participating in the debate in the Lok Sabha, Rahul had said lokpal is not adequate to tackle corruption and an anti-corruption code and framework to combat corruption are needed.

    Those present in at Anna's fast venue sensed a new equation building between the Congress and Hazare. Anna and Gandhi had exchanged letters on the bill and further steps to combat corruption ahead of the legislation's passage in the Lower House.

    Hazare broke his fast by sipping juice offered by two school children. He defended the bill which was slammed by the Aam Admi Party (AAP), led by his one-time associate Arvind Kejriwal. "The first draft was a weak one. But the select committee of the Rajya Sabha has done a great job. People's aspirations are reflected in the bill and I thank Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members, except those of the Samajwadi Party, for supporting the bill," said Hazare.

    Anna announced to form "watchdog" committees comprising former judges and senior police officers to monitor implementation of lokpal after it is instituted.

    "The entire exercise will turn futile if the law is not implemented in letter and spirit. We will now start working to form committees comprising retired judges and police officers. These committees will work as watchdogs and monitor implementation of the law. The committees will be formed at district and state levels," Hazare told his supporters.

    "We have to build this entire structure and those who want to be part of this team can contact me in Ralegan Siddhi. I appeal to all my countrymen to contribute Rs 5 each to facilitate the formation of the committee and the infrastructure," he said.

    Hazare did not mention Kejriwal or his associates who were a part of his agitation in the initial stages.

    But sharing the stage with the Gandhian, Kiran Bedi didn't spare the AAP leader for calling the bill "jokepal". "I hope that some people who criticized the bill will realise the facts. Anna was always confident about a strong bill. But there was ignorance among some who were with us earlier. Even so, these people have taken efforts with us to set the premise of the bill," said the former IPS officer.

    Former army chief Gen VK Singh said the credit for the bill goes to Hazare and the people. "We will continue to be with Anna in his fight against corruption."

    Naturopathy gives him stamina

    Nine days after fasting, the 76-year-old had enough energy to address his supporters after the passage of the bill in Parliament. "You must know the secret of my stamina. There is a team of good doctors and an acharya from New Delhi has sent his people to look after my health. Naturopathy, mud therapy and massage has helped me manage my health," said Anna.
     
  14. kseeker

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    In the end, it’s a story about Anna - The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: The irony could not have been more biting. In April 2010, Arvind Kejriwal pitched for a strong anti-corruption legislation with Gandhian Anna Hazare as the "face" of the lokpal campaign. Three years on, when the lokpal legislation was finally passed in Parliament, Kejriwal's name was conspicuous by its absence.

    Both Congress and BJP raced to take credit for bringing a "strong" law to combat corruption and were fulsome in their praise for Hazare, conveniently omitting acknowledgement of the campaign spearheaded by 'Team Anna'.

    Till their painful separation in September 2012, Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan were widely recognized as the masterminds behind the campaign with Hazare as its selfless mascot. It was their relentless combination of anshan-dharna supported by data on corruption cases and a powerful social media campaign that forced the government to do what was unheard of. The UPA government first formed a joint drafting panel and after the August 2011 anshan, passed a three-part resolution on the Lokpal Bill.

    The story was different on Wednesday. Several senior BJP and Congress leaders fell over themselves to acknowledge how Hazare, through his fasts, had brought focus on the Lokpal Bill. But the Gandhian had only bitter words for his one-time disciple. In an oblique reference to his former colleagues, Hazare said, "The country or society does not benefit from people who stand before cameras. If I had chosen to stand in front of the cameras, I would not have reached where I have."

    The anti-graft crusader had recently ejected AAP leader Gopal Rai from his village after Rai engaged in a spat with former army chief General VK Singh, who had slammed Kejriwal and others for deserting Hazare and forming a political party.

    Kejriwal, however, refused to respond to the social activist in kind. Recognizing Hazare as his "guru'' who could scold or beat him, Kejriwal claimed that "hundreds of crores" were being spent to create a division between Hazare and him. "I will not name those who have made an effort to divide me and Anna. There are vested political interests," he said.

    "There are those who are scared of what will happen if Annaji and I work together. They are afraid of the atom bomb that will fall on them," he added.
     
  15. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    Hi singhji nice comparesion

    But fear one thing if point 2 that is states are allowed to make their own acts they they would not follow what is lokpal act and would pass their own present act with just providing reservation acts and few modifications

    for eg MP has best act while maharashtra has worst .here lokayuta can act can only probe and give suggestions
     
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  16. A chauhan

    A chauhan "अहिंसा परमो धर्मः धर्म हिंसा तथैव च: l" Senior Member

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    Re: Heat on for politicians, bureaucrats as Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal

    Anna has Been Hurt. Saying Your Guru has Been Misled is a Sin
    By Prabhu Chawla, Published: 22nd December 2013 06:00 AM, Last Updated: 22nd December 2013 10:55 AM

     

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