Ralegan Siddhi, Dec 18 (PTI) : Anna Hazare today broke his nine-day fast shortly after Lok Sabha passed the Lokpal Bill, and announced he would form “watchdog bodies” comprising people of “impeccable integrity” to keep an eye on how the law is enforced.
Looking a bit frail yet brimming with enthusiasm after the landmark bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, Hazare thanked all parties, barring Samajwadi Party, for their support, but obliquely criticised his former proteges in the Aaam Aadmi Party, his fellow travellers in the Jan Lokpal movement, who have dubbed the new legislation as “Jokepal” bill.
Hazare, who had been crusading for anti-corruption ombudsman for long and had forced passage of the bill in the Lok Sabha in 2011 through his fast at Ramlila Maidan, hoped the bill is signed into a law within 1-2 months.
The 76-year-old Gandhian, however, said mere enactment of the law would not serve the purpose and announced he would form “watchdog bodies” in states and districts to keep an eye on how the law was being enforced.
“The law will be meaningless unless it is implemented and enforced properly. I will constitute watchdog bodies at all levels…in states, districts everywhere.
“These bodies having retired judges, state police chiefs and others with impeccable integrity will keep vigilance on how the law is implemented. Only then the people will benefit from this law,” he said.
Hazare, who thanked everybody, from MPs to political parties, Rajya Sabha’s Select Committee, to policemen at his fast venue, the ‘pandalwala’ to the doctors who looked after him during the hunger strike, his fourth for Lokpal, chose not to make any mention of Arvind Kejriwal and others from the AAP, who played a role in building the movement. .