Nine political parties protest, demand strong Lokpal

August 23rd, 2011 - 5:57 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 23 (IANS) Nine political parties, including the Left, Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and AIADMK, Tuesday staged a protest inside the parliament house complex — demanding a strong and effective Lokpal bill.

Holding placards and banners, the four Left parties, Telugu Desam Party, Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S), AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD) came together under the non-National Democratic Alliance (NDA) banner.

Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja told reporters that nine parties have come together and are planning to launch a country-wide agitation in this regard. “We want the government to come forward with a strong Lokpal bill.”

Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Sitaram Yechury said: “The government’s Lokpal bill is not effective and we need an effective Lokpal. The parliamentary process is on and it has been referred to the Parliamentary Standing Committee.”

But he didn’t come out openly in favour of Team Anna.

Anna Hazare, 74, is fasting at the Ramlila ground to pressurise the government to come out with a stronger version of the Lokpal bill that puts under its ambit the prime minister, judiciary and the lower bureaucracy.

Yechury said all the nine parties will take up this issue through parliamentary procedures as well as popular protest outside for an effective Lokpal.

He also slammed Team Anna’s call to protest outside MPs’ houses.

“Everyone has a right to protest in a cohesive manner. But forcing one’s idea on others is not democracy. Holding protest marches to the residences of MPs is uncalled for,” the Marxist leader said.

“The Jan Lokpal bill is also being considered by parliament’s standing committee. The process is on,” he added.

Former prime minister H.D. Deve Gowda from the JD-S also participated.

Meanwhile, independent MP Om Prakash Yadav sat on a protest near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue inside the parliament house complex, supporting Hazare.

Yadav, an MP from Siwan, wants the government to pass the Jan Lokpal bill, proposed by Team Anna.

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