Hazare supporters hold referendum on anti-graft bill


Staff member

New Delhi: Supporters of anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare have taken their campaign to the next level in their bid to put the federal government under pressure.

The latest pressure comes in the way of a referendum on the Lokpal Bill, which government intends to introduce in parliament in the upcoming monsoon session, starting August 1.

According to Arvind Kejriwal, social activists yesterday started handing out a two-page questionnaire to households in the Chandni Chowk Lok Sabha constituency of Delhi. In all they intend to survey 700,000 households in the constituency by Sunday.

The selection of Chandni Chowk for the referendum is interesting since it is represented by federal minister Kapil Sibal.

"He [Sibal] is the government's face of Lokpal. So we decided to hold the referendum in his constituency. Our volunteers will visit houses, leave the questionnaire and collect it two days later," Kejriwal said.

The questionnaire asks people if they would prefer the government's version of the bill or the one prepared by civil society.

The joint committee set up to draft the Lokpal Bill ended up having two versions as government and civil society members failed to agree on several issues including if the prime minister and senior bureaucracy should come under the ambit of the bill.