Indian Anti-Graft Discussion “Unlikely” Friday

Posted August 26th, 2011 at 4:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Indian Parliamentary Affairs Minister P.K. Bansal says a discussion Friday in parliament on proposals for a new anti-graft law is “unlikely,” as activist Anna Hazare continues a hunger strike aimed at forcing officials to adopt tougher anti-corruption legislation.

Bansal said the anti-corruption proposals had not been listed for discussion, but he did not completely rule out the possibility. Earlier news agency reports indicated that lawmakers would take up the issue Friday.

Hazare's hunger strike has entered its 11th day and he had vowed to break the fast only if parliament started talks on his anti-graft proposals Friday. He has been pushing for tougher legislation that would hold many government officials, including the prime minister, or the judiciary accountable for corrupt practices.

His fast has united millions of Indians against Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government.

Mr. Singh told parliament Thursday he wants his government to debate all reform proposals, including the one championed by Hazare.

The 74-year-old Hazare has been encamped in an open-air venue in New Delhi with thousands of supporters.

Mr. Singh's government and members of the opposition have urged Hazare to let doctors feed him intravenously, but the activist has refused.

Popular outrage over corruption has grown steadily in India over the past year, as a series of high-profile corruption scandals has made national headlines. They include the sale of telecommunications licenses at below market value and numerous financial irregularities in India's hosting of the Commonwealth Games last year.