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Social reformer Anna Hazare and other civil society members Monday boycotted the Lokpal bill drafting panel meeting saying the police crackdown on Baba Ramdev had “strengthened the doubts” about the government’s intentions to have a strong anti-corruption body.

“Recent events since our last meeting don’t inspire any confidence that the government is serious enough about the Lokpal bill. Further, what happened in the Ramlila ground strengthened our doubts,” Shanti Bhushan, co-chairperson of the committee, said in a letter to Pranab Mukherjee, who is the joint chairperson of the bill drafting committee.

“Is the government really serious in dealing with corruption, especially when the government is facing such severe criticism on account of so many scams? In view of this, we have decided not to attend today’s meeting of the joint committee,” it added.

The activists have sought rescheduling of the next meeting of the committee June 10 to some other date because of prior engagements of Hazare.

“We will send a list of important issues, including six identified by the government, by tomorrow. We urge that the government’s views on these be made public so that an informed public debate on these could start immediately,” the letter said.


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