Kejriwal differs with Hazare on Lokpal bill

    By IANS,

    New Delhi: Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal Saturday expressed surprise at activist Anna Hazare agreeing to the revised Lokpal bill tabled by the government in parliament and said he will continue his fight for the Jan Lokpal bill till his last breath.

    Kejriwal’s remarks spelled a clear parting of ways between him and Hazare on an issue with which they are closely identified and which helped bring them into the national limelight.

    Both Hazare and Kejriwal had agitated for the Jan Lokpal bill in the national capital.

    Kejriwal later decided to form a political party and promised to pass the Jan Lokpal bill in Delhi if the AAP formed a government.

    Kejriwal Saturday expressed his disappointment in a series of tweets and termed the Lokpal bill tabled by the government as “Jokepal”.

    “I am really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari lokpal bill? Sarkari lokpal is a ‘jokepal’. Who is misguiding Anna? It is also interesting to see that both BJP n Cong have agreed on this ‘jokepal’,” he tweeted.

    He said the bill does not contain any of the three most important provisions of the Jan Lokpal bill.

    “What does this ‘jokepal’ achieve? CBI has not been made autonomous. CBI will continue to be under govt’s control. None of the 3 conditions which were agreed upon when Anna broke his fast in Aug 2011 are there in this jokepal. So why did Anna agree for such a ‘jokepal’? Which forces are misleading him? I am really sad,” he further tweeted.

    “Whatever Anna may say, we will continue our fight for jan lokpal bill till our last breath,” Kejriwal said.

    Hazare, who has been on a fast at Ralegan-Siddhi in Maharashtra for the last five days for passage of the Lokpal bill, Saturday said he would call off his hunger strike the moment the law was enacted.

    Hazare’s stance on the Lokpal bill came a day after some AAP leaders Friday attempted to disrupt a meeting by former army chief V.K. Singh at Ralegan-Siddhi.

    Soon after Singh started speaking, AAP leader Gopal Rai stood up to interrupt, accusing the former army chief of betraying Hazare at a critical juncture.

    Taken aback by the arguments that ensued, a visibly annoyed Hazare virtually asked Rai to “get out”.