People in Sibal’s constituency want Jan Lokpal bill: Kejriwal (Lead)

August 1st, 2011 - 8:09 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 1 (IANS) As many as 85 percent people in Chandni Chowk, Communications Minister Kapil Sibal’s constituency in Delhi, favour the civil society’s version of the anti-corruption Lokpal bill, social activist Arvind Kejriwal said Monday. Sibal has dismissed the claim.

Kejriwal shared with media persons the interim results of an opinion poll held in Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi. A questionnaire along with a chart detailing the government and the civil society’s versions of the Lokpal bill was distributed from door-to-door, he said at a press conference.

“We have scanned 72,000 responses and the results are overwhelming; 85 percent people in Kapil Sibal’s constituency said that they were in favour of the Jan Lokpal bill,” Kejriwal said.

Sibal shrugged off the poll results, and said sarcastically: “They (the civil society) are being very modest…I think they are doing injustice to themselves…I am surprised at how it is not 100 percent!”

Congress leader Digvijay Singh passed a snide remark, saying: “What is the civil society anyway?”

The draft Lokpal bill was approved by the cabinet July 28 amid vehement protests by the civil society representatives, which said that key clauses which they have been demanding for, have been left out of it.

The questionnaire had eight questions in all.

“Eighty-two percent people said the prime minister should be within the ambit of the Lokpal bill, which the government’s draft bill does not contain. Eighty-five percent people also said that there should be a Lokayukta (ombudsman) in every state,” Kejriwal said.

“Eighty-four percent people agree with Team Anna that power to dismiss a corrupt officer should lie with Lokpal and not with the minister of the concerned department as proposed in the government’s bill,” he added.

Social activist Anna Hazare said: “If people’s views are not taken into account, then it’s not a democracy; 85-86 percent people agree with us on every issue, so does Kapil Sibal really represent the people, their views in his constituency?”.

“In other places too, maximum people favoured the Jan Lokpal bill. In Nagpur, 81 percent spoke in favour, in Mumbai, it was 95 percent,” he added.

To fight for a stronger anti-corruption bill that was representative of the public opinion, Hazare said he would sit on a fast Aug 16 at Jantar Mantar although Delhi Police have not yet indicated whether or not the protest can be held.

“We sent an application to the police commissioner seeking permission for the fast but have got no response. There has been no formal letter denying us permission, from anyone,” Hazare told reporters.

Kejriwal added: “Until now we have not got any rejection letter. They (police) asked for clarifications, we gave them. As of now we are going ahead with our fast.”

Delhi Police Thursday said prohibitory orders banning any gathering of five or more people will be imposed in places of Delhi, including Jantar Mantar area, during the monsoon session of parliament that began Monday.

The curbs were Friday withdrawn from Jantar Mantar and India Gate areas.

“If they don’t let us sit on fast, I will go to jail,” Hazare said. “This is India’s second struggle for freedom and I will fight against corruption till my last breath.”

The anti-corruption crusader went on a 97-hour fast in April at Jantar Mantar, demanding a strong anti-graft Lokpal bill.

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