Lokpal debate likely tomorrow as Rahul lauds Hazare

Congress general secretary and eminence grise Rahul Gandhi today broke his silence on the Anna Hazare fast, thanking Hazare for highlighting the issue of corruption through his campaign.

Meanwhile, a debate in Parliament on all versions of the Lokpal bill could be held as early as Saturday, though it won't happen today as was half-expected earlier.

Gandhi said he shared the concern about corruption that has led to unprecedented nationwide protests. He added that the need of the hour was not just a strong lokpal (anti-corruption watchdog) but to go a step beyond and make the lokpal a constitutional body like the Election Commission.

He praised Hazare, but said that he did not agree with the view that the lokpal by itself would end corruption. He said a strong political will was required to end the menace of corruption as there were no simple solutions.

He said political parties should bury their differences to ensure that the political class gives the country corruption-free governance.

The modalities of the resolution and debate are apparently being worked upon even as Hazare's indefinite fast entered the 11th day today. Hazare has lost 7 kg, but his health is stable, doctors said.