Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal claimed on Monday that he had not said anything about Parliamentarians that had not been said before or written about before. “But if Parliamentarians feel that by punishing me they can restore the dignity of the House, they can do so,” he said.
Reacting to the pandemonium leading to adjournment in the Lok Sabha over his remarks about criminal charges against some members, he wondered whether the dignity of the House was not lowered when mikes were thrown about, chairs were hurled and Bills torn on the Floor of the House. “I respect Parliament and that is why there is a worry that if there are 162 people in the House with criminal background, with charges of murder, attempt to murder, cheating and kidnapping against them, how can we expect them to pass a law against corruption or to strengthen the criminal justice system? There is a direct conflict of interest here.”
Seeking electoral reforms that kept out people with criminal background, he said he was questioning the system, not lowering the dignity of Parliament, adding that political parties who gave ticket to tainted candidates were just as answerable to people.
“Shooting the messenger is not the solution,” said another Team Anna member Kiran Bedi. “What has been said is in the public domain. It is part of so many films in India, cleared by censor boards. The question, therefore, is why we have come to this state of affairs. I wish Parliament calls a special session to reflect upon people's perception about politicians.”
Mr. Kejriwal has been served privilege notices by the Lok Sabha secretariat on complaints of Rashtriya Janata Dal and Congress members. On Monday, during social activist Anna Hazare's one-day fast at Jantar Mantar here to highlight the weaknesses in the Whistle-Blowers Bill, Mr. Kejriwal had named United Progressive Alliance Ministers against whom, he said, media had reported charges of corruption.