Young Congress MPs nuance Congress stance on Hazare fastAugust 26th, 2011 - 11:10 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Aug 26 (IANS) From muted criticism of the party’s initial attack on Anna Hazare to open support for a debate on the Jan Lokpal bill - young MPs of the Congress have sought to make their presence felt on the way the party has dealt with the fast undertaken by Hazare for a strong anti-corruption legislation.
The young MPs Friday led the Congress attack on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after the Lok Sabha could not take up discussion on the Lokpal bill.
The day saw Congress young scion Rahul Gandhi spelling out his stance on the Lokpal debate by suggesting that the proposed anti-corruption ombudsman should be fortified by making the institution a constitutional body.
Several young MPs including Milind Deora, Sachin Pilot, Ashok Tanwar, Meenakshi Natrajan, Jitin Prasada, R.P.N. Singh, Sandeep Dikshit and Pradip Jain came near Mahatma Gandhi’s statue in the Parliament House complex Friday and accused the BJP of stalling the debate on the Lokpal bill which would have paved way for Hazare to end his fast.
“The pertinent issue, the central point today is the health of Anna Hazare. The government can initiate debate (in parliament) to bring political consensus on the Lokpal bill,” Dikshit told IANS.
Hazare’s fast continued for the 11th day Friday.
Dikshit, who has been involved in the government’s talks with Team Anna, said the government bill and suggestions of civil society on Lokpal would be taken up in the house during the discussion.
Tanwar, who is Congress MP from Sirsa, said there was a possibility of a meaningful solution through discussions on the Jan Lokpal bill Friday but the BJP appeared hesitant. He said the BJP had been shifting its position on the anti-corruption legislation.
The MPs said Rahul Gandhi had broadened the scope of debate on corruption by his speech.
Jyodiraditya Scindia referred to Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion of making Lokpal a constitutional body and said the party leader had given an out-of-box idea “which neither the civil society nor parliamentarians could think of”.
Congress MPs, however, emphasised that the parliamentary system is sacrosanct and Lokpal was not the only solution to fight corruption.
They also denied that they had suddenly become active on the Lokpal bill debate after Rahul Gandhi’s intervention, saying that party leaders had been making regular statements.
Congress sources said the party had decided against making a personalised attack on Hazare after Rahul Gandhi’s return to the country from the US where his mother and party president Sonia Gandhi underwent surgery. The young leader held discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other senior leaders after his return.
Congress spokesman Manish Tewari, who had made a scathing attack on Hazare Aug 14 accusing him of being corrupt from “head to toe”, Thursday apologised to the social activist for his comments.
Congress sources said young party MPs have been meeting party leaders as part of efforts to find a solution to the fast by Hazare and had conveyed their views to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and the prime minister.
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- All-party meeting called on Lokpal as Hazare targets Congress (Roundup) - Dec 11, 2011
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- As Anna fasts, parliament divided over Lokpal (Night Lead) - Dec 27, 2011
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- Congress terms Anna's fast premature, insult to parliament - Dec 11, 2011
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- Congress awaits Sonia for post-Hazare strategy - Aug 29, 2011
- Only one Mahatma for India, no one crusader against corruption: CPI (Second Lead) - Dec 22, 2011
- Show courage on Lokpal bill, Hazare urges PM - Jan 22, 2012
- Lokpal debate in parliament Saturday; Anna firm on key demands (Roundup) - Aug 27, 2011
Tags: anna hazare, ashok, bharatiya janata party, bjp, congress mps, constitutional body, government bill, initial attack, Lok Sabha, mahatma gandhi, meaningful solution, meenakshi, parliament house, political consensus, pradip, prasada, rahul gandhi, sachin pilot, sandeep dikshit, sirsa