Anti-graft bill will take time, India's PM says

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Old 21-Aug-2011
Anti-graft bill will take time, India's PM says

New Delhi: India's prime minister said it would take time to pass anti-corruption legislation, as an activist fasted for a fifth day yesterday to demand that his bill be approved.

Anna Hazare told supporters that he felt weaker from fasting but would "fight on" for the cause. More than 10,000 people surrounded him as he sat on a concrete stage in front of a photograph of India's Father of the Nation, Mohandas K. Gandhi.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, however, said political parties and elected officials needed time to reach a consensus on drafting a "strong and effective" bill.


"We are open to, I think, discussion and dialogue," Singh told reporters, noting the government had already introduced a draft bill for legislative debate. "Our hope is that we can enlist the cooperation of all thinking segments of Indian public opinion."

The 74-year-old Hazare has frustrated the government with demands that it adopt a version of the bill that would also place the judiciary and prime minister's office under the purview of a new anti-corruption ombudsman.

Hazare has threatened to continue fasting until death unless Parliament passes his legislation by August 30. In India, suicide is illegal, and authorities are required to intervene when a hunger striker's life is at risk.

Old 21-Aug-2011
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thanks for share

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