Playing the Dalit card, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on Friday criticised the Centre, the Congress and civil society for not including any SC member in the Jan Lokpal Bill drafting committee.
At a hurriedly convened press conference here, Ms. Mayawati invoked Dr. Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar and his contribution to the socio-economic uplift of the downtrodden sections to drive home her point. Even after 63 years of independence, was not a single SC member found suitable to be on the drafting panel?
The panel comprises Anna Hazare, Santosh Hegde, Arvind Kejriwal, Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan (civil society members) and Union Ministers Pranab Mukherjee, P. Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, M. Veerappa Moily and Salman Khursheed (from the government side).
In a pointed reference to Gandhian Anna Hazare, Ms. Mayawati said he came from a State, which has had a history of struggle for the socio-economic development of the SCs and the STs. Dr. Ambedkar was also from Maharashtra. “Mr. Hazare should have considered these aspects before naming the civil society members.”
The “mistake” should be rectified by including an SC member from a non-political background.
Referring to the controversy surrounding the Bhushans but without naming them, Ms. Mayawati suggested that the panel distance itself from members whose integrity was in doubt.