As Prime Minister Manmohan Singh questioned the proposed fast by Anna Hazare on Lokpal issue, the Gandhian’s team on Monday called him an “insensitive” person who is asking people to fall in line on the issue.
Ms. Kiran Bedi, a Hazare Team member, claimed people have no trust left in the UPA government which was elected two years back as it had squandered an opportunity to make history by enacting a strong anti-corruption ombdusman.
The Hazare team’s reaction came as Dr. Singh used his Independence Day address to assert that those who are opposed to the bill should not resort to hunger strikes and fasts-unto-death.
“He speaks like a final arbiter. He says you cannot protest. This is a direct imposition of a bill on people against their will. The Prime Minister is imposing a bill on the country and saying protest fast is wrong. The PM is asking people to fall in line,” Ms. Bedi told PTI.
“He is insensitive to people’s perception. Surveys after surveys and referendums after referendums showed that people rejected the government’s Lokpal Bill. He is not taking this into account,” she alleged.
Ms. Bedi was of the opinion that the Prime Minister was not addressing the reasons for the proposed fast by Mr. Hazare. “The fast is against imposition of a ‘dhokha’ (betrayal) bill which excludes more than what it includes. Fasting is the only way and we are now being asked to fall in line,” she said.
Noting that the Prime Minister did not elaborate in his speech about what kind of Lokpal he envisioned, she said Dr. Singh should have told the nation that an overwhelming majority has rejected the government version of the bill and that he would be withdrawing the measure.