Even while claiming that it will not target any single party in its campaign in poll-bound States, Team Anna released a pamphlet on Friday in which it accused the Congress of betraying the country on the Lokpal issue.
The four-page pamphlet titled ‘Your Vote can Change the History of India — Betrayal by Central Government on the Country' also questions Rahul Gandhi, Mulayam Singh, Mayawati and the BJP on Lokpal, Lokayukta, autonomy of the CBI, land acquisition and participatory democracy.
“Hasn't the government cheated the whole country?'' Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal shot back when it was pointed out to him that the title of the pamphlet betrayed the claim of not targeting any party.
The pamphlet carrying a photograph of social activist Anna Hazare lists six “betrayals'' on the Lokpal issue by the United Progressive Alliance, while another page titled “Congress' strong Lokpal Bill'' highlights six “deficiencies'' in the anti-corruption law formulated by the government.
Mr. Gandhi is asked pointedly why the government is scared of keeping the CBI out of its control; whether he supported “using the CBI” to garner the support of regional parties to save the UPA government.
The BJP is asked why an Uttarakhand-type Lokayukta law was not introduced in all BJP-ruled States. Also, will the party support a strong Lokpal Bill at the Centre and legislate for people's participation in policy and law-making?
Mr. Mulayam Singh and Ms. Maywati are asked why they abstained during the vote on the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha. And if they were to form a coalition with the Congress and the BJP, will withdrawal of cases against them be a condition? Will they support a law for people's participation in policy and law-making?
Releasing the pamphlet at a press conference here, Team Anna members Mr. Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Manish Sisodia said they wanted a law that would enable people's participation in policy formulation and law-making along with members of Parliament. “We want to change the discourse from the politics of caste, religion, money and muscle to anti-corruption, land acquisition and participatory democracy. People should be ready to vote for their ‘bhagidari' in policy and law-making,'' they said.
“We will ask the people if they are ready after today to bring about a fundamental change in deciding policy and law that affects them. Let the role of the government be reduced to implementation of policies chosen by them,'' said Mr. Bhushan.
“The biggest corruption is in land acquisition, which is where the black money goes. Agriculture land belonging to poor farmers is given at nominal rates to builders, property dealers and big companies. Yet, during election time, all politicians who are involved conveniently disappear. We want the decision on this important issue to lie with the gram sabha,'' he said.
The team was to have started its campaign on Saturday with a public meeting in Hardwar, but permission was withdrawn at the eleventh hour by the Returning Officer.
Answering questions, Mr. Kejriwal said there was no plan to have a joint campaign with yoga guru Ramdev. Mr. Hazare would join the campaign in its last leg in Uttar Pradesh, if he was well.
Keywords: Team Anna poll campaign