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Great idea but pass our bill first, Team Anna tells Rahul

Team Anna on Friday appreciated Congress MP Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion that the Lokpal be elevated to constitutional status. They, however, stuck to their demand that the Jan Lokpal bill be passed first within the prescribed time frame.

 “Lokpal should be given constitutional status. Yes, I support him (Gandhi)…But first let us at least have a legal (statutory) authority as demanded by Anna Hazare,” Shanti Bhushan, a member of Team Anna said.

 Speaking on the bill for the first time, Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha: “Why not elevate the debate, let us take it further and fortify the Lokpal bill by making it a constitutional body like the Election Commission of India.”

 “I feel that the time has come for us to seriously consider the idea. Laws and institutions are not enough,” he added.

Reacting to Gandhi’s statement, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi tweeted: “Show the intent behind these lofty ideas by taking the first step with the Jan Lokpal bill.

 “Lokpal is not enough (to end corruption), but you begin with that at least. You climb hills before you reach Mt. Everest,” she added.

 Said social activist Medha Patkar who has lend her support to Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign: “It is a humble request – don’t unnecessarily waste time. At the moment, there cannot be a debate on constitutional vs statutory.”

 Hazare’s fast for a strong anti-graft bill entered the 11th day on Friday.

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