New Delhi: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday wrote a letter to anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare with assurance that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the upcoming Budget Session. The Lokpal Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2011, but could not be put to vote in the Rajya Sabha due to shortage of time. Since then the government has not brought the Lokpal Bill to Parliament.
Sonia's assurance came two days before Hazare is set to begin his nationwide tour for strengthening the organisation of farmers. Hazare announced on January 16 that he would begin his nationwide tour from Bihar on January 30.
He said that following failure of farmers' organisations to unite, it has led to neglect of agriculture sector by the rulers. "Keeping in mind the need to strengthen farmers' organisations, I decided to start nationwide tour for one and half years and sit for satyagraha before Lok Sabha polls at Ramleela Maidan, New Delhi," he said.
Addressing the gathering after receiving the prestigious "Basava Krushi" (agricultural award named after 12th century social reformer Basaveshwara), instituted by 'Kudalasangama Lingayat Panchamasali Mahapeeth' in Bagalkot, he said: "I will tour in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Panjab and Karnataka and start agitation by organising farmers community".
Kudalasangam seer Jayamrutyunjay Swamiji presented the award to Hazare. Maharashtra Member of Parliament Raju Shetty, 'Krushi' Mission President SA Patil and former Union Minister Babagouda Patil were among those present.
(With additional information from PTI)