Sushma Swaraj
Sushma Swaraj

In a relief to Team Anna's tension over the ongoing debate on Lokpal Bill, Opposition leader Sushma Swaraj called for a "stronger bill" in the House on Saturday.

 "The time for a strong Lokpal has come and the massive public response to Anna Hazare's anti-corruption crusade is a wake-up call for Parliament," IBL Live quoted Sushma Swaraj as saying.

Charging, the government for introducing a toothless and ineffective Lokpal Bill she said, "Today the house is doing a historic debate".

In the meantime, "I request the members of the House to be peaceful while the debate is going on. Today we have to show the nation that Parliament can debate peacefully as well. Every idea has its time," she appealed.

She also accuses UPA government for bringing a "toothless Lokpal bill".

"If the Government is committed to eradicate corruption, then they should bring a strong anti-corruption Bill. The Bill which has been brought is toothless and ineffective," she said.

"Today is the 12th day of fast and a 74-year-old man is fasting and fighting. The Government's Lokpal Bill has forced people to doubt the intention of the Government to fight against corruption," she added.

"Anna Hazare's movement has become a people's agitation. For the first time on the basis on the Jan Lokpal movement, Anna Hazare got the Bill to the public and the public responded positively, The Bill has become a public movement," the leader said.

"The reason why this has gained momentum is the revelation of corruption cases in the last two years," she pointed out.

In her speech she accepted that her party BJP too was responsible for failing to pass the Bill nine times in the Lok Sabha.

 "Even during the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) regime we could not pass the Bill. The UPA (United Progressive Alliance) brought the bill for the first time in its seventh year of being in power. I also hold NDA regime responsible for not being able to pass the Bill," she said.

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader LK Advani on Saturday urged Parliament to resolve the three key demands on the Lokpal bill raised by Team Anna by evening so that Anna Hazare can call off his 12-day long fast.

In a letter to Prime Minister Mammohan Singh, Anna Hazare sets his three issues that are

1) Appointment of Lokayuktas in the states

2) Preparing a citizens' charter, including the lower bureaucracy under the ambit of Lokpal Bill.

"We should discuss the bill throughout the day and till evening the view of the house should go to Anna Hazare, and it will be meaningful if the conclusion of debate leads to ending of Anna ji's fast," he told the Lok Sabha.

The Parliament began debating various versions of the Lokpal Bill at a special sitting on Saturday.

The bill that was presented by the Government on August 4 is not the first. First one was presented in 1968, then in 1971, 1977, 1985, 1989, 1997, 1998, 2001 and now in 2011.