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BJP, Team Anna cross swords on Himachal Lokayukta bill

Monday April 02, 2012 07:58:04 PM, IANS

Ghaziabad/New Delhi: It was Team Anna versus the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday as the activists rejected the "very weak" Lokayukta bill drafted by Himachal Pradesh's BJP government, and the party hit back saying Team Anna does not have a monopoly in deciding which bill is good or bad.

Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan, addressing a press conference in Ghaziabad on the outskirts of Delhi, said that the Lokayukta bill to create a state ombudsman sent to them by the Himachal Pradesh government was "very weak, ineffective and seeks to provide illegitimate protection to corrupt people rather than punishing them".

"Rather than adopting the strong model of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh government has adopted many of the controversial provisions of the Lokpal bill prepared by the central government," Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said.

"This is unfortunate... Does it mean that BJP disowns the Uttarakhand bill? Does it also mean BJP and Congress are on the same page on some of the controversial provisions of the central bill?" he questioned.

His reaction came as the Himachal Pradesh government cancelled a function scheduled in New Delhi Monday morning to present him a copy of the Lokayukta Bill.

Reacting to the comments, BJP leader Balbir Punj said that Team Anna did not have a "monopoly" on deciding which bill was good or bad.

"This is in accordance with the needs of the state... Himachal (Pradesh) and Uttaranchal are two different states, their needs are different. If the state government has brought this Lokayukta bill, they (Team Anna) should wait and see how it performs," he said.

The BJP leader added that the activists were "welcome to have their opinion".

"Team Anna does not have a monopoly over deciding what is good," he said.

BJP leaders had earlier attacked Team Anna on their comments against MPs made by Kejriwal.

Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj had last week led the attack against Team Anna by taking strong objection to the language used by the activists against parliament and MPs. She had said that by speaking against democratic institutions, the civil society members were indirectly inviting dictatorship.

Sushma Swaraj also said that Team Anna has "lost direction" as on the one hand they want the Lokpal Bill to be cleared by parliament and on the other, they were insulting MPs by their uncivilised statements.




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