Congress terms Hazare’s indefinite fast as premature

April 5th, 2011 - 8:50 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Apr 5 (ANI): Asserting that the Prime Minister has already constituted a sub-committee headed by Defence Minister A K Antony to look into the Lokpal Bill issue, Congress Party on Tuesday termed social activist Anna Hazare’s fast unto death as premature.

“The Prime Minister has already constituted a sub-committee headed by Antony. When the process was already on, then adopting such a path is perhaps not appropriate, probably unnecessary. We respect Hazare very much, but the path he has adopted is premature,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters.

Noting that the Prime Minister’s Office has expressed disappointment over Hazare’s decision, Tewari said: “In a democracy, the government moves the bill and Parliament enacts it. And in between there is enough scope that if any constructive suggestion comes, amendments can be moved.”

Responding to questions on National Advisory Council’s reported rejection of the draft Lokpal Bill, he said that in a democracy, differences always exist and a harmonious consensus is arrived at through healthy discussions.

Anna Hazare started his indefinite fast unto death today to press for the demand to involve civil society in formulation of the anti-graft Lokpal (ombudsman) Bill.

Hazare visited Rajghat this morning before proceeding to Jantar Mantar via India Gate to start the protest.

Talking to reporters here, Hazare said that he was saddened when the Prime Minister rejected the demand by leading civil society members to include them and senior ministers in the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill.

Earlier, Hazare said that the government which is corrupt in every way, will not succeed in stopping this law from passed and that he would leave no stone unturned to achieve this.

“I have dedicated my life for the service of my nation. I have not gone to my own house from the last 35 years. I want that poor people should get justice. I want the money back, which we are losing out to corruption. And this government is aiding all the corrupt people,” he added.

The Lokpal Bill (Ombudsman Bill), 2010, which awaits a select parliamentary committee’s nod, provides for filing complaints of corruption against the Prime Minister, ministers and lawmakers.

Hazare contended that the Lokpal Bill, in its present form, is useless and has drafted a separate Jan Lokpal bill (Public Ombudsman Bill), taking into account the views and suggestions from civil society and common people.

Hazare is a member of the ‘India Against Corruption’, an NGO that includes several eminent social activists including Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh fighting against corruption. (ANI)

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