Government trying to mislead nation: Hazare (Lead)June 22nd, 2011 - 9:29 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, June 22 (IANS) Civil society representatives Wednesday hit out at the government for saying they wanted to create a “parallel government” through an ombudsman and said their draft anti-graft bill aimed for an autonomous Lokpal free of government interference.
Addressing a press conference a day after the final meeting of the 10-member draft Lokpal bill panel, comprising five each from the civil society and the government, noted social activist Anna Hazare accused the government of trying to mislead the people on the legislation.
The anti-corruption crusader vowed to launch a hunger strike from Aug 16 at Jantar Mantar in the heart of the capital if a strong Lokpal bill, as demanded by them, is not passed by parliament.
“We are ready for everything, whether the government lathi charges, we will sit on hunger strike if our demands are not met,” Hazare said.
“We don’t want a parallel government. We want an autonomous Lokpal on the lines of Election Commission, and the government can’t interfere in its function. We have the Supreme Court and the Right to Information (RTI) Act, which they cannot interfere in,” Hazare said.
“Just like them, the Lokpal should also be beyond government’s interference,” he said, adding that the government’s claims were an attempt to “mislead the people”.
“We are not interested in a parallel government. The nexus between the bureaucracy and the politicians is more dangerous than the Pakistan threat,” he informed.
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal had Tuesday said that while the government wanted a strong Lokpal, “we cannot have a parallel government”.
Hazare said the government didn’t want a strong Lokpal as it “lacks will power and also because it didn’t want to end corruption in the country”.
“The government is trying to create misunderstanding in the minds of the people before our fast, but our fast on Aug 16 will be the second struggle for freedom,” he said.
Pressing for inclusion of the Central Bureau of Investigation within the Lokpal ambit, the 74-year-old Gandhian questioned: “Why is the government not agreeing to bring CBI and other investigative agencies under Lokpal’s ambit? It showcases that government is not serious about corruption.”
Social activist — and retired senior cop — Kiran Bedi said: “There is nothing for the common man in the government draft. Today, the common man doesn’t have any system to lodge his complaint.”
Arvind Kejriwal, civil society member, questioned: “Though the bill covers 65,000 government officers, more than 15 lakh NGOs come under its purview. Government should make it clear whether it is for checking the corruption of bureaucrats or the NGOs.”
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- Government trying to mislead nation: Hazare - Jun 22, 2011
- Government calls all party meet as Anna vows to fast (Roundup) - Jun 22, 2011
- Lokpal debate collapses amid acrimony, Hazare to fast (Roundup) - Jun 16, 2011
- Fasting Anna ready for talks, but on his Lokpal (Evening Lead) - Aug 21, 2011
- We can't have parallel government: Sibal - Jun 21, 2011
- Open for talks, says fasting Hazare (Lead) - Aug 21, 2011
- PM asks Anna not to fast (Lead) - Aug 15, 2011
- Hazare takes a dig at PM, Sibal (Lead) - Aug 06, 2011
- Team Anna seeks TDP's support for Lokpal bill - Jul 02, 2011
- Split wide open; government, Team Hazare plan own versions (Roundup) - Jun 15, 2011
- Anna slams Lokpal bill, vows fast from Aug 16 (Second Lead) - Aug 11, 2011
- Deadlock between Team Hazare, government continues (Lead) - Jun 15, 2011
- Congress moots all-party meet on Lokpal (Lead) - Jun 18, 2011
- Team Anna, government agree to disagree on Lokpal (Lead) - Jun 21, 2011
Tags: anna hazare, bureaucracy, crusader, development minister, election commission, government interference, human resource development, hunger strike, kapil sibal, mantar, misunderstanding, New Delhi, nexus, ombudsman, pakistan threat, parallel government, rti act, social activist, society representatives, struggle for freedom