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While exiting jail, Lalu Prasad, convicted of corruption, slams Lokpal Bill

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While exiting jail, Lalu Prasad, convicted of corruption, slams Lokpal Bill
While exiting jail, Lalu Prasad, convicted of corruption, slams Lokpal Bill

Lalu Yadav, former union minister, was released from jail in Ranchi today where he has spent over two months after being convicted of corruption.

Mr Yadav, who is 66, held a long press conference at the prison gates. “I have full faith in the judiciary,” he said, referring to the Supreme Court’s decision last week to grant him bail.  He has been found guilty by a CBI court in Ranchi of helping to embezzle more than 30 crores in a fodder scam – fake bills were submitted for food and medicines for cattle in a swindle that allegedly adds up to 900 crores.

Mr Yadav also criticized the Lokpal Bill, designed to fight corruption by creating a national ombudsman empowered to investigate graft among elected representatives and bureaucrats.  He  denounced the bill as an “attempt to subvert courts” by activists like 75-year-old Anna Hazare, who has been fasting for seven days demanding that parliament clear the bill before its session ends on December 20.

The government says clearing the legislation is at the top of its agenda.  Over the weekend, Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi said the bill is nearly “99% there” and other parties must back it.

His party’s new fixation with the bill is being attributed to the sterling debut of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi elections held recently. Led by Arvind Kejriwal, the one-year-old party said its main assignment is to check corruption.  Delhi voters rewarded it with 40% of the seats in the legislature; the Congress got less than 10.

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