Hegde Happy with Lokpal Progress - The New Indian Express

Hegde Happy with Lokpal Progress

Published: 14th December 2013 08:55 AM

Last Updated: 14th December 2013 08:57 AM

It is good to allow the Lokpal to come into existence first; it can always be strengthened later, Santosh Hegde, former Karnataka Lokayukta and erstwhile member of Team Anna, said on Friday.

He welcomed the Lok Sabha taking up the Lokpal bill, even if it is belated.

"The idea was mooted in 1964 and nothing had moved till Anna Hazare raised his voice in 2010. About 18 months after he first went on a hunger strike, the government has decided to bring in the Lokpal bill," Hegde said. In India, nothing moves without pressure. Parties that claimed they wanted the bill opposed it when the time came to take a decision, he rued.

"Anna was thinking of going on an indefinite hunger strike again, but the Delhi elections came in the way," he explained.

"Three days after he resumed his fast, the central government took up the bill." Hegde admitted the bill might not exactly be what Anna wanted. "Let the institution be started and appointments be made. We can then fight for amendments to strengthen the it," he said.

The Samajwadi Party, which was earlier opposed to the bill, has now come round to the position that the bill is not strong enough, Hegde said.

The Lok Sabha took up the bill on Friday and posted it to Monday. "Its passing will take time as the upper house has to approve it and then send it to the President," he said.

"If Anna wants to wait till the bill is passed, it is okay, because the last time, he was cheated," said Hegde, but suggested it was better for him not to persist with the fast on the grounds that the bill is not in accordance with the draft made by Team Anna.

"Why not allow the institution to be created," he said.

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