Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Kumar Vishwas on Thursday said that the Lokpal Bill is the main issue behind their entry into politics, and added that with every change made in Anna’s Lokpal, the government will lose ten seats in the polls.
“Anna’s Lokpal Bill is the main issue behind all this. We want a corruption-free India,” he said.
Terming the government’s version of Lokpal Bill as ‘Jokepal’, he said: “The Bill they have placed before parliament is not a Lokpal, but a Jokepal. The nation will reject both the parties, if they try to cheat us. With each line they change in Anna’s Lokpal, they will lose ten seats in the polls. Even Anna agrees on this.
“Anna is fighting through his agitation and fast. We have taken it to politics on his advice only. He congratulated us for getting 28 seats in the Delhi polls. We have told him that if there is a repoll, then we will win a majority next time,” he said.
“After coming to power, the first bill to be passed will be Anna’s version of Lokpal Bill, which we call as the Aam Aadmi Lokpal Bill, and will return to Ralegaon Siddhi to seek his blessings,” he further added.
Responding to alleged differences between Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal, he said: “Anna has talked to him over the phone. He advised him to take care of his health because soon he has to fight for a bigger clause.
Earlier today, the AAP chief had cancelled his visit to Ralegaon Siddhi, citing ‘ill health’.
The AAP wants to show its support for Anna Hazare's demand for the immediate passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill. This comes as Anna's fast entered the third day on Thursday.
The demand for a Lokpal Bill was seen as a revolutionary anti-graft movement, which in 2011 not only drew tens of thousands of Indians united against corruption onto the streets, but also stopped parliamentary proceedings and dominated the headlines for days on end.
But 18 months on, India Against Corruption (IAC) - a popular movement led by a group of the country’s prominent social activists - have split due to the decision by some members to move from activism into politics.
The IAC movement, launched in December 2010, marked the first time in India that both the poor and the middle classes were united against corruption in such large numbers.
Over the past year, India has been transfixed by a campaign led by Anna Hazare to force the government to create an ombudsman, which would prosecute corrupt politicians and bureaucrats.
Hazare's initial hunger strike brought millions of sympathisers out on streets and forced the government into a series of humiliating U-turns.
But "Team Anna" had lost some steam. When Hazare launched his third hunger strike in Mumbai, just before the New Year, very few turned up and he had to call it off prematurely because he was ill.
The proposed bill envisages the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India.