Social activist Anna Hazare, whose last week's fast forced the Centre to form a joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill, on Monday asked Communications and HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to resign from the panel if he felt that it would be able to achieve nothing.
Mr. Sibal reportedly said on Sunday that the Bill would not be able to solve problems related to education, health or civic issues. However, on Monday, the Minister denied making any such statement.
Mr. Hazare said: “If [Mr.] Sibal feels that nothing will happen due to the Lokpal Bill, then he should resign from the joint committee as soon as possible. Why is he wasting his and our time? Why does he want to be in the committee? If you believe that nothing will happen, you should not be there in the joint committee…he should resign and do some other work for the country.”
Mr. Hazare was talking to journalists before leaving for his village Ralegaon Siddhi in Maharashtra after successfully leading the five-day anti-corruption campaign here.
Another member of the committee, RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal, who along with Mr. Hazare and three other personalities represents the civil society on the panel, also expressed his displeasure over Mr. Sibal's statement.
Raising doubt over the government's “seriousness” in drafting legislation and getting it passed in Parliament, Mr. Kejriwal said, “If someone is not getting rations due to corruption, then he can get relief from this Lokpal. If you are not getting admission in a school, you can get some relief. But if there is no school, then Lokpal will not help you. Here the government has to do something.”
The RTI campaigner said that first obstacles were put when it came to official notification of the committee and now such statements were being made. “How many obstacles they will put during the committee meetings, we don't know. We have great fear.”