Hegde not in favour of Hazare going on fast from Aug 16

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Bangalore, Jun 18: Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, a Lokpal Bill drafting committee member, says he is not in favour of Anna Hazare undertaking his planned fast from August 16 if a strong Lok Pal Bill was not prepared.

Hegde also said today he was apprehensive about the final outcome of the proposed anti-corruption bill as it could be a watered down version of what was originally envisaged.

"Annaji must continue his fight against corruption, personally. He must not go on any hunger strike immediately. He must go around the country and inform people about the consequences of corruption and on development," Hegde told PTI. Hazare early this week threatened to go on fast again from August 16 if a strong Lok Pal Bill is not ready.

Hegde also said that he had advised the Gandhian not to go ahead since he has tremendous public support.

The former Supreme Court judge said he would not quit the drafting committee but would not be present in the next meeting of the panel on June 20 owing to prior engagements.

Hegde said he would not go to the fasting place or take to the streets as he continued to occupy the post of Lokayukta in Karnataka till August 2.

"The discussion on the bill is nearly over and after the last meeting...of what you read between two parties, they do not seem to see eye to eye and hence I am apprehensive of the outcome of this effort," a candid Hegde said.

"They will a bring a bill for a certain, but how strong the bill is going to be is a question," he said.

Voicing his doubts, he said, "They do not want the PM to come under its scope, they do not want the judiciary, they do not want military purchases being investigated nor the central government employees nor the corrupt conduct of MPs outside the House but having implications inside House."

On the CBI being kept out of the RTI Act, he said, "Today they want to keep out CBI, tomorrow it will be the police". Once an investigation was over, there could be sharing of data to ensure transparency, he opined.

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