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BJP in favour of bringing CBI under Lokpal Bill ambit

New Delhi, Dec 21 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday reiterated that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should be brought under the ambit of Lokpal Bill.

“Bharatiya Janata Party is firm on its stand that a strong and effective Lokpal should be made. And we are firm on whatever we gave in writing in our dissent note to the Parliament’s Standing committee,” BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain told the media here.

“We want that Lokpal should be included in the appointment of the director of CBI and CBI should remain out of the control of the government. And in the appointment of the CBI Director, the Lokpal should be included,” he added.

Hussain refuted the claims of BJP being hand in glove with the Congress Party on the Lokpal Bill issue.

“The news circulating is that BJP and Congress have come to terms are all baseless news. Yes, we have agreed on a date (for passing the bill) because for us date is not important but a Lokpal Bill is more important,” he said.

Another BJP leader Balbir Punj echoing similar sentiments said it is unlikely that a fair probe would be conducted if the Lokpal is appointed by the Central Government.

“If the rights to appoint the Lokpal would remain with the Central Government then we do not have any hope of having a Lokpal, who would be impartial and effective, considering the past record of the UPA II Government,” said Punj.

“Secondly, till now the government wants to keep control over the CBI and probe of any crime, either corruption or any other, would not be impartial until the investigating agency is non biased and being under the influence of this government, the CBI cannot function in an impartial manner,” he added.

Veteran social activist Anna Hazare had earlier in the day hit out at the Centre’s draft, and said the government excluded the CBI from the Lokpal ambit to save Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

“If the CBI was brought under the ambit of the Lokpal, then Chidambaram would have been in jail. You are protecting the corrupt politicians and then you are saying that this is a strong Lokpal. What strong Lokpal? CBI has been kept out from the Lokpal,” Hazare told the media at his native village Ralegan Siddhi.

Hazare further said the government draft of the Lokpal Bill is misleading.

“PM has to be responsible for and other people like the Army and others and it will continue like this and no stringent action will be taken. It is not a strong anti-graft bill. It is deceiving the people. They are cheating the people and the public will someday teach a lesson to these people,” he said.

The Union Cabinet had on Tuesday approved a historic bill for creation of the Lokpal with Constitutional status. A new Lokpal Bill will now be introduced in the Lok Sabha tomorrow.

Hazare has, however, written a latter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, and threatened to go ahead with his proposed three-day fast from December 27 for a strong Lokpal Bill. (ANI)