Home India News Support strong Lokpal, BJP says after meeting Team Hazare

Support strong Lokpal, BJP says after meeting Team Hazare


New Delhi : The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) met with Team Hazare on the Lokpal bill Friday and said it favours a strong anti-corruption law, but refused to state its stand on the contentious points. The Congress accused the BJP of being hypocritical.

The BJP said it will take a final call on the Lokpal bill issue only after meeting with its alliance partners.

Gandhian Anna Hazare along with other civil society activists met senior BJP leaders at the party office here to discuss the points of difference with the government on the anti-corruption bill. Team Hazare is scheduled to meet Congress president Sonia Gandhi Saturday.

Talking to reporters after meeting Hazare, BJP general secretary Ravi Shankar Prasad said: “We have assured them that BJP is in favour of a strong Lokpal. We will have a separate meeting with BJP leaders, and then an NDA meeting. After that we will decide what our stand will be.”

He however refused to comment on the points of contention between civil society and the government, which are mainly inclusion of the prime minister, higher judiciary and MPs activities inside parliament, under the Lokpal ambit.

Civil society member Arvind Kejriwal said these issues were not discussed at the meeting.

BJP leaders L.K. Advani, Sushma Swaraj, Arun Jaitley, Murli Manohar Joshi, Jaswant Singh, Rajnath Singh, Ananth Kumar and Ravi Shankar Prasad were among those present at the meeting with Team Hazare, which included Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi.

The Congress slammed the opposition party for not making its stand clear on the bill.

“BJP is being childish and hypocritical on the Lokpal bill. It is strange that a party which calls itself a responsible national party says they have no stand, neither on our Lokpal bill or civil society’s alternate version, nor do they have a stand of their own,” party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.

Team Hazare’s meeting with BJP comes ahead of the July 3 all-party talks convened by the government on the bill.

Anna Hazare meanwhile said that the meeting was aimed at ensuring a strong Lokpal Bill.

“We briefed them (BJP) about the government and our draft. We want that when the draft bill comes in parliament, the bill should be as strong as possible. We also got a good guide on what is necessary to be done in future,” Hazare said after the meeting.

The government has promised to bring the legislation in the monsoon session of parliament.

Team Hazare, which has been meeting political parties over the bill, is set to meet Sonia Gandhi to discuss the two versions of the bill Saturday.

The meeting is scheduled for 4.30 p.m. It was earlier scheduled for June 30, but was cancelled.

Former top cop Kiran Bedi, who is part of the civil society team, Friday tweeted that it was better that they will be meeting Gandhi Saturday, as they have met the opposition parties and know their point of view.

“Meeting of team Anna with SG (Sonia Gandhi) at 4.30 p.m. Better, now that we could read BJP’s and other opposition parties’ mind,” Bedi said.

Team Hazare has so far met leaders from Left parties, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Janata Dal United and Rashtriya Lok Dal, besides BJP.