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Bring PM, CBI and lower bureaucracy under Lokpal: Oppn

NEW DELHI: Sharing Anna Hazare's platform, Opposition parties today backed his demands for inclusion of Prime Minister and lower bureaucracy under the ambit of Lokpal but some counselled Team Anna to be flexible and not expect every point raised by it to be accepted.

While almost all the speakers were on the same page on most of issues raised by Hazare, CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan warned Team Anna against branding as "corrupt" those people who disagree with its views and asked the activists to "listen to others".

Leaders of BJP, CPI(M), CPI, JD(U), Akali Dal, TDP and BJD participated in the public debate on Lokpal Bill at Jantar Mantar, where Hazare was sitting on a one-day dharna protesting against Parliamentary Standing Committee report on the Lokpal Bill.

No representative of Congress was present.

Most of the leaders concurred with Hazare's demands for inclusion of Prime Minister, lower bureaucracy and CBI's anti-corruption wing under Lokpal but they did not favour bringing higher judiciary under the ombudsman and argued for a separate mechanism to check corruption in it.

Bardhan, however, said, "Team Anna should not expect that each and every point it makes is accepted. They should show some flexibility." "They should not think that the entire wisdom of the world is with 9-10 people. There is no dearth of scholars in a country of 120 crore. Team Anna should also listen to others and have patience to listen to others," he said. — PTI



Hazare insulting Parliament, indulging in politics: Cong

NEW DELHI: Facing attack on the Lokpal issue, the Congress today accused Anna Hazare of insulting Parliament with his campaign at Jantar Mantar and said it was nothing but coming together of detractors of the party and the government.

"Whatever has happened at Jantar Mantar is premature and they should have waited for the final shape of the Lokpal Bill which would be passed by Parliament," party spokesman Rashid Alvi said.

"Laws cannot be made at Jantar Mantar. I have no hesitation in saying that Annaji is insulting Parliament," Alvi said, adding that the activist had had his say and should now allow Parliament to carry out its mandate.

He accused Hazare of indulging in politics by attacking Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and party general secretary Rahul Gandhi.

"It is the constitutional right of Annaji to sit on protest, but the manner in which he is trying to target Rahulji and Soniaji makes it clear that he only wants to indulge in politics," he said.

His remarks came soon after several political parties, including BJP, Left parties, BJD shared dias with Hazare and backed Team Anna's key proposals for a strong Lokpal.

"It was an assembly of anti-Congress organisations. Nothing has happened beyond our expectations," Alvi said.

He warned against exerting "unnecessary pressure" on any issue.

The Congress leader pointed out that Parliament was not bound to accept every suggestion of the Standing Committee and at the same time it go beyond its recommendations.

He contended that there were inherent contradictions in Hazare's utterance when he exhorts every institution to work independently and at the same time expects the government or the Congress to influence the Standing Committee to accept the activist's version of Lokpal. — PTI



UN climate meet OK’s roadmap for landmark deal

DURBAN: UN climate talks today okayed a roadmap for a 2015 accord that will, for the first time, legally force all major carbon polluters to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a landmark move that followed days of wrangling between India and the EU over the language of the new deal.

The pact on tackling climate change — the agreement on which came after hard negotiations that ran 36 hours beyond schedule — must be completed by 2015 and will go into effect from 2020.

Talks on the new legal deal covering all countries will begin next year, when Kyoto Protocol expires.

The 194-party conference here agreed to the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding treaty for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol sets binding targets for 37 industrialised nations and the EU to slash carbon emissions to 5 per cent below the 1990 levels by 2012.

Up to now, China and India have been exempt from any constraints because they are developing countries, while the US has opted out of the Kyoto Protocol.
During the conference here, which was originally scheduled to close on Friday, the EU had pushed hard for a "roadmap" to a new, legally binding treaty against fierce resistance from India and China, whose delegates argued that mandatory cuts would slow their growth and condemn millions to poverty.

"Am I to write a blank check and sign away the livelihoods and sustainability of 1.2 billion Indians, without even knowing what the EU 'roadmap' contains?" asked Environment Minister Jayanthi Natarajan. "Please do not hold us hostage." — PTI



Cartoonist Mario Miranda dies at 85

Panaji: Acclaimed cartoonist Mario Miranda, who made Goan landscapes and people come alive on canvas, died at his ancestral home in Loutolim early Sunday after a long illness, family sources said. He was 85.

"He had been ailing for long and he passed away peacefully in his sleep," his grieving widow Habiba told IANS.

Miranda is survived by his wife and two sons. Lautolim is 35 km from here.

Mario had been ill with multiple complications for few years and had not been very active on the art scene though he occasionally made sketches for some publications. — IANSBack




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