Left, non-NDA parties call all-India protest against graft

August 20th, 2011 - 12:16 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 19 (IANS) The Left and some other non-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) parties Friday accused the government of not taking serious steps to curb high level corruption and called for an all-India protest Aug 23 to demand effective measures against graft, including a strong Lokpal bill.

At a meeting here, the leaders of nine political parties said that aong with the Lokpal law, there are certain immediate measures to be taken to curb corruption. They said a new judicial accountability law which sets up national judicial commission, electoral law reforms and firm steps to unearth black money and bring back the illegal money stashed abroad were needed.

The meeting condemned the arrest of Anna Hazare and his colleagues in order to prevent their hunger strike.

“This is an attack on the democratic rights of citizens to conduct peaceful protests. There are increasing restrictions on the right to assemble and the right to conduct protests in Delhi and all over the country,” the parties said in a statement.

They demanded lifting of curbs on the right to protest and protection of democratic rights.

They said Aug 23 protest will also demand protection of democratic rights and right to conduct peaceful protests.

Asked whether this agitation would pave the way for a Third Front, Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Prakash Karat said these were issue-based protests.

“Earlier, we had jointly organised all-India hartal on the issue of price rise,” he added.

To a question whether they would coordinate with NDA, he said it had also conveyed that the government version of the bill does not serve the purpose.

He said all opposition parties were organising their own agitational programmes.

Apart from Karat those who attended the meeting included A. B. Bardhan (Communist Party of India), Chandrababu Naidu (Telugu Desam Party), H. D. Deve Gowda (Janata Dal-Secular), Ajit Singh (Rashtriya Lok Dal), Debabrata Biswas (Forward Bloc), Abani Roy (Revolutionary Socialist Party) and M. Thambidurai (AIADMK).

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