Cabinet okays lokpal sans CBI; Hazare slams toothless bill

The union cabinet today approved the Lokpal Bill at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh even as anti-graft activists led by Anna Hazare slammed the toothless bill, that opted to keep the government's chief investigating machinery, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), under government's control.

The cabinet, which met at the Parliament House complex, decided to table the bill in Parliament on 22 December.

Gandhian leader Anna Hazare who has been leading a tireless campaign for legislation against graft, accused the UPA government of ignoring the voice of people. Hazare said he would go ahead with his fast and ''jail bharo'' agitation from 27 December, as the "weak" lokpal bill showed that government was not honest.

He said the UPA government has cheated the people of the country and that he will go ahead with plans to campaign against the government in the assembly elections in five poll-bound states.

"The intentions of the government are not honest. It is decided that my fast will go ahead. I will fast on 27, 28 and 29 December. From 30 December onwards there will be jail bharo agitation till 1 January," Hazare said.