Team Anna on Friday charged the United Progressive Alliance government with conspiring against the country, Parliament and people by the manner in which it ‘misused' its authority to stall the Lokpal Bill. Its movement would now be to save democracy.
Talking to journalists, Team Anna members alleged that the government misused its majority in the Lok Sabha, while in the Upper House it exploited parliamentary procedures to stall the Bill from being put to vote. The proceedings demonstrated complete helplessness of Parliament to the machinations of the ruling party, they said.
Senior lawyers Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan, along with Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi, charged that the proceedings were orchestrated to a scheme. “What actually happened was murder of democracy before the eyes of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.”
It was something like “Draupadi ka chirharan,” which Dhristrashtra and Bhishma Pitamaha witnessed as silent spectators. “How will the Prime Minister explain to the people why the process for passing the Bill was not initiated?”
A stupendous challenge confronted the country. Their movement would now aim at saving democracy in the country apart from putting in place an effective and strong Lokpal. “The present model of representative democracy needs to be improved to put in place a model of participatory democracy, where people will have a direct say in law and policy making,” they said.
Denying charges that their movement had lost steam, they contended that the circumstances in which the fast in Mumbai was held was different from the one organised earlier in the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi against the backdrop of the arrest of Anna Hazare.
The presence of people in Mumbai was good though less than in Delhi, but it would be wrong to say people's support to the issue had diminished, they asserted.
If the government had accepted two of the three amendments of the Opposition on which consensus was shaped up, it would have been a good beginning for the Lokpal and they would have been satisfied with the outcome.
The three amendments pertained to independence of the Central Bureau of Investigation, selection and removal process of the Lokpal free of government control, and non-inclusion of the Lokayukta. Acceptance of the first two would have been satisfying, they said.
Team Anna alleged that Lalu Prasad and his RJD created chaos as part of the script that was drafted outside the Rajya Sabha. “It is being alleged that it was some kind of match-fixing,” they charged.
The proceedings clearly stated which party stood where on what issue, they stressed and appreciated Sitaram Yechury and Arun Jaitley.
Team Anna has decided to criticise those who had not supported the cause of the Jan Lokpal Bill.