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Updated: August 2, 2011 01:59 IST

“Opposition must stand up and fight”

Gargi Parsai
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Civil society activist Anna Hazare addresses the media in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma
Civil society activist Anna Hazare addresses the media in New Delhi on Monday. Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Just who is covered under this Bill, asks Arvind Kejriwal

With 85 per cent people in a single parliamentary constituency supporting the Jan Lokpal Bill as opposed to the government's Lokpal Bill, social activist Anna Hazare on Monday termed as “unfortunate” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's justification for keeping his office out of its purview.

Questioning the government's intention, he called upon the Opposition parties to fight for a strong Lokpal Bill. “In a democracy both the government and the Opposition are important. But when the ruling alliance becomes weak, the Opposition parties must stand up and fight.”

Addressing a press conference here, he said he and the people had believed that the country had a Prime Minister who was honest and non-corrupt, “but after his recent statement, we wonder whether an honest person is being dishonest.” Dr. Singh had recently said that it was “not advisable” to bring the office of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.

Even as the government is all set to introduce the Cabinet-approved Lokpal Bill in Parliament this week, he said, “Our fight is not against Parliament. It is against the government…I had written a letter to the Prime Minister on July 18 but he has not replied.”

Standing firm on his resolve to go on an indefinite fast from August 16 to demand a Bill that was “structurally strong,” he said he was not insisting on undertaking a fast at Jantar Mantar because the issue, for him, was more important than the venue.

There is speculation on whether the government will allow Anna Hazare to undertake his fast at the earlier venue — Jantar Mantar — or send him to the outskirts of Delhi.

The Gandhian said he was ready to face ‘lathis' or go to jail in order to espouse the cause of a corruption-free society. “We will not raise our hand in the face of lathis till our last breath,” he said.

Armed with a favourable result obtained in a referendum on the Jan Lokpal Bill versus Lokpal Bill conducted in Chandni Chowk — the parliamentary constituency of Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal — Mr. Hazare said the government should see the writing on the wall. Mr. Sibal's constituency was chosen because he “represented the face of the government.” Over 85 per cent surveyed had favoured the draft Bill prepared by the civil society members of the joint drafting panel.

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Those who worry about 'frivolous' charges against PM must worry about tightening the legal system. The PM is a citizen, first and last.It is up to the law to trash fake charges. The PM is not the LAW nor is the parliament. Where was our parliament in 1975-77 when Indira Gandhi slapped one amendment after another murdering democracy and butchering our constitution? Why no MP protested? The interests of more than a billion people cannot be hijacked by the Nehru family. No one is above criticism, even Nehru said...

from:  Gotama
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 23:10 IST

Anna Hazare Ji's fight is against corruption and the post of Prime Minister is not an exception.The post of Prime Minister should be above suspicion as he is the leader of the highest democracy in the world. Let us be united against corruption whether the person is from ruling party or oppposition.Let the truth triumph

from:  Prasanth Kuliyadath
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 19:49 IST

There is no reason why the PM should not be subject to Lokpal Bill. Those who enact, administer and adjudicate law, must be a subject of the same law, if not a stricter law. The Lokpal Bill cannot be framed with a particular PM in mind and inclusion of the PM will ensure that the "Sword of Damocles ( Lokpal Bill )" hangs on the head of the aspiring PM who will necessarily have to be a person of impeccable integrity and act without any fear of favour, which today is merely paid a lip service during the swearing-in ceremony, while taking the Oath of Office.

from:  Mukundan N
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 19:44 IST

If opposition parties would like won next elections they must support ANNA in all respect and bring original Jan lok pal bill

from:  jiten
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 17:58 IST

The Lokkpal can be expected to mount an enquiry into accusations of corrupt practices against the Prime Minister or anybody else for that matter only when these accusations are backed by prima facie evidence. The Lokpal enactment can in any case incorporate such a justiciable requirement and that should prevent fraudulent investigations. A PM accused of corruption with prima facie evidence, even if he or she is not under investigation by the Lokpal would in any case lose popular support and the moral right to rule. Isn't the Congress with its obdurate stand on the need to keep the PM out of the purview of the Lokpal legislation confirming the party's fear of impending corruption charges against its ministers?

from:  K.Vijayakumar
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 15:32 IST

Congress refuses to see the writing on the wall. This survey is just a forerunner to the next Lok Sabha elections. I hope people will rout Congress in the next elections and send it packing for a long long time to come. This enemy is more dagerous than any other faced by the country including pakistan.

from:  S.Ramanujam
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 13:59 IST

Anna Hazare is fighting a battle in an environment that is even more deadly than what Mahatma Gandhi had to face. By the time of independence, Britain was already resigned to leaving India. Save for a few notable hold-outs, her politicians and people were sympathetic to the desires of Indians to be independent. British civil servants and police were by and large fair minded. Of course one cannot forget Jalianwalla Bagh. However, post independence Indian politicians have proved themselves to be much worse, and have committed much greater atrocities than our former colonial masters.
Anna Hazare faces an entrenched political elite and bureaucracy that has got used to the spoils of corruption. Today he is fighting the Congress that is in power. Tomorrow, it could be any other party. The Indian people need to be strong and unite with Anna Hazare to fight and win this battle against the ruthless politicians in their midst. Only then will they be truly independent!

from:  CS Venkat
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 09:12 IST

This movement is many times bigger than the movements led by Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji fought the outside enemy - Annaji is fighting the enemy within.

from:  Param
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 08:10 IST

By obdurately determined to go ahead with the toothless anti corruption bill, MMS regime seems to be set on a course of self estruction. If the rulers are dead set on decrying the Civil Society survey which shows the genuine anger of the public, they do it at their deadly peril. Ravana and Duryodana of epics have clearly demonstrated the fate that awaits the leaders who scorn at the rule of dharma. No amount of twisted logic of the Congress spokes man trying justification of the unjustifiable will save the party from the annihilation that awaits at the hands of disgusted public.

from:  N.G. Krishnan
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 08:07 IST

If the Bill goes through Parliament, Civil Society, Media etc should gear up to see that not a single person from Congress Party get elected to the Lok Sabha in the 2014 elections.

from:  C S Padmanabhan
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 08:05 IST

All representatives of the legislatives and the parliament should respect the Lokapal bill of dictated by Annaji and adopt it, because we people are electing you to voice our concern in parliament. So think always we people are masters of yours. you should obey your people .Do good to them . Always remember after five years you have to come to people to get elected in Parliament.

from:  Balan
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 07:45 IST

It is so saddening to see people like Anna Hazare ji becoming a player supporting BJP a party always ready to spent peoples money on not serving people by disturbing the parliament. Anna ji does not question there actions but questions actions of people who are providing a relief to so many people in India on economic front. I am now totally convinced that Anna's movement is totally sponsored by the main opposition party and it has been well planned from last many years. After the opposition defeat in last elections when they went with corruption as a subject to win the election. May good people have a common sense to read into what is being done by Anna's group in the name of our father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.

from:  GT
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 07:41 IST

BJP this is the opportunity for you to show your true face and support Anna.Otherwise we will believe that There is no difference between you and congress... At the moment, most of us do not care about the smaller parties like.. LP, SP, BSP, RJD, DMK etc.. because we are aware that they are always on sale. If congress do not fall in line... Then i am seeing the possibility of current government failing and next-election by December this year.. Anna we are with you. And we salute you for your real fight against this criminals of politics. Jai Hind.

from:  Pratik
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 07:32 IST

We should realize that this bill affects not only the present PM but also the ones to come. We should be concerned about the image of the PM in the eyes of the people of India whom he represents. Imagine the PM of the country being accused of all sorts of misdoings by prejudiced persons and parties. Not a healthy sight especially in the eyes of foreign countries. What is the guarantee that frivolous charges will not be leveled? The PM of the country in the dock is not a heartening sight. Let us leave him out of the trap. This move to include him when in office is equivalent to or at least gives scope scope for frivolous impeachment.

from:  Ven Sardi
Posted on: Aug 2, 2011 at 02:48 IST
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