Will accept Parliament decision on Lokpal Bill: Anna Hazare

New Delhi, April 17 (PTI): In an apparent softening of stand, social activist Anna Hazare on Sunday said Parliament was supreme and would accept its decision if it rejects the Lokpal Bill. Mr. Hazare also showed some flexibility on the August 15 deadline he had set for passage of the Lokpal Bill by Parliament saying he was open to extending it if he found that the government was on the right path. “We will have to accept it. We believe in democracy,” Mr. Hazare said in reply to a question on what would be his stand if Parliament rejected the Lokpal Bill drafted jointly by the government and representatives of the civil society.
Mr. Hazare, who called off his fast on April 9 after government notified a Joint Draft Committee, had set August 15 deadline for passage of the bill failing which he would again go on a fast. “There can be some flexibility once we are convinced that the Bill is on the right track,” he said in an informal interaction with a group of journalists.
Mr. Hazare said he was open to have wider consultations on the Lokpal Bill and was also willing to involve the political leadership of the country.
Mr. Hazare admitted that corruption would not end with the passage of the Lokpal Bill, but it would definitely help curb such practices to some extent. He favoured stricter laws for government servants, including one that made declaration of assets compulsory for everyone. For politicians, he said the law should have provisions for automatic launch of investigations if there was a large difference in the assets declared by them between two consecutive elections.