Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Tuesday suggested widening the scope of the Lokpal Bill by also going into the issue of corruption in the corporate sector and NGOs as part of a comprehensive package against graft.
“The anti-corruption law in the U.S. can look into the functioning of the corporate sector and the NGO sector and it should be considered,” he told journalists here.
Describing anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare as a Gandhian, Mr. Singh however said he should not have criticised all politicians. “Just like it is not proper to dub all voters as dishonest so is the case of politicians. I would like every such person who attacks politicians to contest elections,” he said remarking that Mr. Hazare should enter the poll fray.
To a question, he said that the National Advisory Council headed by Congress president Sonia Gandhi could also go into the Jan Lokpal Bill formulated by Mr. Hazare and his supporters.
Insisting that the issue of corruption would not end with the enactment of the Lokpal Bill, he said that a comprehensive strategy needed to be evolved taking into consideration matters like the five-point plan unveiled by the party president Sonia Gandhi at the party plenary for transparent governance.
Replying to a question on Mr. Hazare and the campaign launched by him, he said that a battle had to be fought at every level against corruption including action against bureaucrats for disproportionate assets as was taking place in Bihar and Jammu and Kashmir.
“It will be in the highest tradition of transparency if they declare,” he remarked when asked whether representatives of the civil society in the Joint Committee on the Lokpal Bill should declare their assets as the Ministers on the panel have already done so.
Mr. Singh however said that there was no Lokayukta in Gujarat for seven years. The post was vacant and Mr Hazare was praising the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi. “Why does he not pressurise Mr. Modi over the Jan Lokpal Bill and for appointing the Lokayukta as people of Gujarat do not know where to complain,” Mr. Singh sought to know.
Asked for his reaction over BJP leader L K Advani's statement that Mr. Hazare's fast achieved more in four days than what the Opposition had in two months when it was demanding a JPC probe into the 2G scam, Mr. Singh said it was a “sad reflection on the Opposition.”
Mr. Singh also hoped that Mr. Hazare and his supporters would declare the expenditure incurred by them on the hunger strike campaign against corruption held at Jantar Mantar here last week.
To a question as to whether he felt that Mr. Hazare had any links with the RSS, he said that the background at the dais where the Gandhian had staged the fast-unto-death had image of Bharatmata resembling an RSS event.
Mr. Singh did not agree with the perception that the emergence of Mr. Hazare and his supporters as 'representatives of civil society' on the Lokpal issue had diluted the role of the NAC headed by Ms. Gandhi.