The Congress on Monday made it clear that anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare's demand for videographing the proceedings of the joint committee drafting the Lokpal Bill was unacceptable.
“Such procedures and rules and preconditions, which would inhibit candid discussions, can never be allowed,” party spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told reporters here during the daily briefing.
“Transparency should not become artificial or hypocritical decision-making without candour. Therefore, balancing is important,” he said.
On Mr. Hazare's demand for the resignation of Union Minister Kapil Sibal — who is also a member of the joint drafting committee — for reportedly belittling significance of the Lokpal Bill for the common man, Mr. Singhvi said the party was opposed to the ‘procedures' and not the issue. “This will not impact the committee,” he said.
Don't queer the pitch
Mr. Singhvi added that one should not get into charges and counter-charges when a positive process has been set in motion. “We should not queer the pitch,” he said, adding the government had bent over backwards over the procedure.
“Our constitutional opposition in principle to the procedure remains. We have accepted their demands to resolve the issue but that does not mean we will accept it in every matter,” he said.
On Mr. Hazare praising the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Mr. Singhvi said anybody who understood or was dedicated to the principles of secularism could not in any manner support, condone or justify the black events in Gujarat. Mr. Hazare has also clarified his remark, he added.
Sources within the party also said that the focus would go away from the Lokpal Bill if the representatives of the civil society come up with such conditions and preconditions. “We are now talking of the nitty-gritties. They will get into bad books if they make impractical and unreasonable demands.”