Angry Anna targets Rahul for Lokpal about-turn (Roundup)December 2nd, 2011 - 11:18 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) Angry with the parliamentary panel’s sudden u-turn to exclude Group C employees from Lokpal’s ambit, Anna Hazare Friday accused the government of “cheating” and targetted Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for the panel’s about-turn.
Speaking to reporters in Ralegan-Siddhi, Maharashtra, Hazare also accused the government of using the stand-off over the foreign equity in retail move as an excuse for not bringing the Lokpal Bill in the winter session of parliament. Work in parliament has been stalled for the past nine days due to continuous protests by the opposition on FDI and other issues.
The opposition slammed the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) for the flip-flop, but the government said it is trying to find a way out.
Hazare said: “It seems there is no coordination in the government. The standing committee had decided (to include) and then Rahul Gandhi might have suggested something else.”
“Rahul Gandhi must have influenced change in decision to exclude Group C and D from Lokpal ambit.
“What else can be the reason for changing a decision? I think Rahul Gandhi must have told them don’t bring class 3 and 4 officers,” Hazare added.
Hazare was referring to the decision of the parliamentary standing committee studying the Lokpal Bill to keep around six million Group C employees - the bottom layer of government officials - out of the anti-graft ombudsman. Ten members of the 31-member panel submitted a note of dissent on the draft report Thursday.
He accused the government of prolonging the parliament stalemate over the issue of foreign equity in retail. “What I feel is that they don’t want to bring the Jan Lokpal (the civil society’s version of Lokpal), so they are stretching it. Government has no will to bring Jan Lokpal so it is prolonging resolution of FDI issue,” he said.
The 74-year-old Hazare, who led two successful anti-corruption campaigns in New Delhi in April and August, said he would be sitting on a protest agitation on Dec 27 to demand a strong Lokpal. He will also protest in New Delhi on Dec 11.
“It was not an office clerk who promised (for a strong Lokpal), it was the chief of a nation (Prime Minister Manmohan Singh). This is cheating with public,” he added.
He said he will also tour five poll bound states — Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Manipur and Goa — after his protest in New Delhi. “I will talk to them how the government has cheated us,” he said.
Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid, however, said they were still working on including Group C employees.
“Don’t worry on Group C, we are still working on that. The best solution will be found,” he told reporters outside parliament.
Describing the u-turn by the standing committee as an “insult” to the members, BJP leader Kirti Azad said the panel has “no sanctity”.
He also questioned how the decision was reversed within 24 hours of a meeting of Congress core committee at the prime minister’s residence.
“This shows that the sense of the committee was rejected outrightly, so no sanctity of the committee remains,” he added.
The sense of parliament on having Lokayuktas in states, a citizen’s charter and bringing lower bureaucracy under the Lokpal were among the demands set forth by Hazare. It was conveyed to Hazare by prime minister in a letter Aug 27.
Hazare said corruption by the lower bureaucracy affects the poor most. “Today, the poor are concerned only with class 3 and 4, they don’t go to class one directly. They go to Class 2, 3, 4; and if they are left out, how will people get justice,” he added.
- Rahul to blame for Lokpal flip-flop, says Anna - Dec 02, 2011
- FDI standoff an excuse not to bring Lokpal, alleges Hazare - Dec 02, 2011
- All-party meeting called on Lokpal as Hazare targets Congress (Roundup) - Dec 11, 2011
- Team Anna reject Lokpal panel's recommendations - Dec 07, 2011
- Lokpal panel finalises report, Team Anna rejects it - Dec 07, 2011
- Lokpal panel split on keeping Group C staff out (Lead) - Dec 01, 2011
- Ahead of fast, Hazare says will campaign against Congress (Lead) - Dec 10, 2011
- Rahul behind weak Lokpal bill, says Hazare - Dec 09, 2011
- Lokpal panel still divided on inclusion of PM (Second Lead) - Nov 30, 2011
- Lokpal panel likely to finalise report Nov 30 - Nov 28, 2011
- Government not serious about fighting graft, says Hazare - Dec 07, 2011
- Cabinet, UPA to discuss Lokpal Tuesday, all-party meet Wednesday - Dec 10, 2011
- Team Anna lobbies with Jaitley, Sushma for Lokpal bill (Lead) - Nov 22, 2011
- Team Anna meets Jaitley over Lokpal bill - Nov 22, 2011
- Anna gets Left, right support for strong Lokpal (Roundup) - Dec 11, 2011
Tags: ambit, anna hazare, anti graft, bottom layer, class 3, draft report, fdi, flip flop, general secretary, maharashtra, member panel, nine days, parliamentary panel, parliamentary standing committee, progressive alliance, rahul gandhi, stalemate, trying to find a way, u turn, winter session