“Cabinet reshuffle a superficial exercise”
Launching a blistering attack on the Union government, anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and the former Army Chief, General V.K. Singh, on Monday termed the government “unconstitutional” and called for dissolution of Parliament.
They said the two pillars of democracy were not acting in the manner enshrined in the Constitution
With Mr. Hazare beside him, General Singh said the existing governmental system had completely disregarded the soul and spirit of the Constitution.
“People have completely lost faith in the government on the issues of land, water, forest and mineral wealth due to rivers being privatised, forests being sold to private companies and tribal people being displaced from their traditional habitat,” he said, reading out from a joint statement prepared by Mr. Hazare and himself.
The duo would tour the country from January 30 to “awaken masses” to their programme of choosing their able representatives who would take up their causes in Parliament. Mr. Hazare said a working committee, comprising 1,200 Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) engineers had been constituted to facilitate his programme.
“A good image, an eagerness to serve and competence are the qualities that will be looked for in a candidate,” said General Singh.
“In every recent decision, be it FDI in the retail sector or the hike in diesel price, the UPA government had been in a minority,” said General Singh. He accused Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of ignoring the principle of collective responsibility. He alleged that policies were being framed to benefit big businesses rather than the common man and no one was raising voice against this in Parliament.
Attacking the government for its silence on the issue of bringing black money stashed away in foreign banks back to the country, he said it could have been used to develop the country. While many countries in the West were working towards bringing back black money, politicians in India were surprisingly silent on the issue.
Mr. Hazare said: “We are not going inside Parliament nor will we be floating any political outfit. We are working towards inducing change from outside, by screening people who enter Parliament.” Fresh elections should be held to allow a new government in place that would work for the collective benefit of people.
Praising Arvind Kejriwal, he said: “Even if our paths are different, our goal is the same — a corruption-free India,” he said.