Lokpal Bill joint draft committee member Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday alleged that vested interests seemed to have ganged up to discredit the proposed legislation by unleashing a sustained campaign to spread misconceptions and falsehood.
He said vested interests first made an attack on the individual members of the committee and now they are attacking the bill per se questioning the provisions of the bill.
“You would see various articles in various media questioning the bill and presenting the facts in a manner which the bill does not talk of,” Mr. Kejriwal told a press meet at the Indian Institute of Management ,Bangalore, where civil society members in the committee, along with social activists Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh, had an interactive session.
He said there is a sustained effort to discredit the whole exercise and cited instances of the bill being projected as “a cure (Lokpal bill) worse than the disease (corruption)” and as a “threat to democracy“.
Karnataka Lokayukta Santosh Hegde, a member of the panel, saw no difficulty in the passage of the Lokpal Bill in the Parliament, indicating that political parties would be forced to take a position on it.
Mr. Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge, pointed out if any political party opposes the bill, it would be seen as one which is “for corruption”.
Ms. Bedi, a former IPS officer, said that with India ratifying the United Nations Convention Against Corruption, international pressure, in addition to the one by civil society, would mount on the country to have an independent anti-corruption authority (Lokpal).