Forty-two years after it was first introduced, the Lokpal Bill will be tabled for the ninth time on Thursday. It will no longer be team Anna vs team Manmohan Singh. It will now be team Anna vs over 750 MPs.
Anna Hazare has stepped up the pressure on the government as the Lokpal Bill is set to be tabled in Parliament.
He has written to all members of Parliament not to support the draft approved by the Cabinet as it is anti-poor.
The government may have denied him permission to fast in Jantar Mantar, but Anna is sticking to his agitation.
Replying to the question whether will you go to the court if the police denies permission, Arvind Kejriwal said,”yes, if necessary”.
While Team Anna alleges that the government draft is merely symbolic, the government says creation of a powerful anti-corruption body must be treated with caution.
While Team Anna says that the prime minister should come under the Lokpal ambit, the government draft says that the Pm should be included only after he demits office.
The Civil society wants the higher judiciary to be included but the government draft says the judiciary should come under Judicial Accountability Bill.
Team Anna also wants the bureaucracy to be included but the government wants Only the higher bureaucracy to be included.
Team Anna says Lokpal should have the power of prosecution but the government says no.
The civil society says that both Lokpal and Lokayukta should be created but the government says only the states will decide whether there should be a lokayukta.
Politicians cutting across party lines are on the same page on this – that it is the elected representatives only who have the right to make laws.
“We should stop questioning everything, every institution, we are here to make decisions. Or else I warn you those outside of Parliament will start taking those decisions for us. It is already happening,” said Salman Khursheed.
With politicians resisting the Jan Lokpal Bill, public pressure is what Team Anna is banking on.
With Parliament in session and team Anna determined, another collision is inevitable where perhaps a consensus would have been welcome.