Indian-Americans seek time line for Jan Lokpal bill

WASHINGTON: Indian-Americans have asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to issue a time bound plan to discuss and pass the Lokpal bill, as being sought by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and agreed upon by the Parliament this week.

“We hope the Parliament keeps up this spirit of healthy discussion rising above party lines and show the same determination in legislating and ultimately passing the Jan Lokpal and Lokayukta bills.

We demand that very soon the government releases a time-bound plan to discuss and pass the bill,” they said in a memorandum addressed to the Prime Minister and submitted to the Indian Embassy here.

A small group of Indian-Americans and mostly Indian students studying in various universities in and around Washington held a “victory meeting” in front of the Gandhi statue at the Indian Embassy in Washington.

About 50 Gandhi aka “Anna” caps were flown in by courier service from New Delhi for the occasion for the small gathering of die-hard Anna supporters.

Sweets were distributed, wherein the attendees discussed the future course of action and how they can contribute in their own small way for the anti-corruption movement in India.

“Anna Hazare has done something for India, which was never accomplished in post-independent India. We all should come forward to support him,” said Janak Arora, who had flown in the trademark “I am Anna” cap from India.

“We hope the Indian Parliament will discuss the Jan Lokpal bill and present a strong anti-corruption law to the nation soon,” said Umang Agarwal, from the University of Maryland. Indian-American students from this University had been holding daily protest in from of the Indian Embassy since August 16.

“We are with Anna Hazare. It is time that India get rid of corruption,” said Ashutosh Gupta, one of the main organizers of the Indian Students at the University of Maryland.

“Our efforts seem to have paid off now that the Parliament has accepted the three main demands of Anna Hazare,” he said.

“Let this resolution be a milestone in restoring faith of people in our parliament. We hope it takes us forward into a prosperous corruption-free India,” said the letter addressed to the Prime Minister. –PTI

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