Left wants consultation to finalise draft Lokpal law

Coming out in support of Anna Hazare`s cause, Left parties asked the government to consult all political parties, social activists and citizens` groups to finalise a new draft Lokpal legislation.

New Delhi: Coming out in support of Anna
Hazare`s cause, Left parties on Thursday asked the government to
consult all political parties, social activists and citizens`
groups to finalise a new draft Lokpal legislation.

"It is imperative that the government set up a
mechanism without delay to consult all political parties,
social activists and concerned citizens` groups to finalise a
new draft legislation," the CPI-M Politburo said, adding that
the draft Lokpal law proposed by the government was inadequate
and will not serve the purpose.

Observing that the need for an effective legislation
has assumed importance in the background of the spate of
corruption scandals, it said the fast undertaken by Anna
Hazare "highlights this need".

Maintaining that it has long been advocating setting
up of a strong Lokpal authority to look into complaints of
corruption against public servants and government officials,
the party said efforts to bring about such a legislation have
not made headway in the past.

Calling UPA-II government "one of the worst patrons of
corruption at high places", senior CPI-M leader Sitaram
Yechury said corruption scandals in Tamil Nadu and those
relating to 2G spectrum allocation, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh
Housing Society, Antrix-ISRO, cash-for-votes, illegal mining
and IPL funding "reminds us of the timeless story of Ali Baba
and 40 thieves".

In an editorial in party organ `People`s Democracy`,
he said "there is, however, a crucial difference in the
present situation. The 40 thieves are running amok in the
absence of an Ali Baba".

Noting that the agitation by social activists was a
reflection of the widely popular anti-graft sentiment, he said
the coming Parliament session must enact the Lokpal bill
preceded by a "widespread discussion amongst political
parties, social activists and, most importantly, the people".

The CPI-ML Liberation also extended support to
Hazare`s struggle and said its leaders and activists would
participate in the solidarity fast in Patna and in Delhi on Friday.

Maintaining that corruption was "a hallmark of
governance in the corporate era" and scarcely any institution
has been left untouched by it, the party said both the
Congress and main Opposition BJP were "equally committed to
subverting democracy to serve the interests of corrupt
corporates and imperialist forces".

It said the corrupt, especially those in high places,
enjoyed "impunity because of the inherent hollowness of the
existing anti-corruption mechanisms in our country".

The CPI-ML Liberation also demanded that a Lokpal Bill
drafted by a committee that includes eminent civil society
members "would certainly carry more credibility than one
drafted solely by the very same Ministers who are busy denying
and defending the massive scams".

PTI