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Team Anna upset as Group C excluded from Lokpal

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 18:01

New Delhi: Lashing out at Abhishek Singhvi on
the draft Lokpal Bill, Team Anna on Wednesday accused the Congress
leader of disrepecting Parliament by going against its
commitment of including lower bureaucracy and Citizens`
Charter in the ambit of the ombudsman.

Activist Arvind Kejriwal said Singhvi, the chairman of
the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lokpal Bill, was
disrespecting Parliament by not abiding by the assurances
given in a resolution passed by Parliament during Anna
Hazare`s fast to include lower bureaucracy and Citizens`
Charter in Lokpal.

"Parliament passed resolution during Anna`s fast to
include lower bureaucracy and Citzens` Charter in Lokpal. Now,
Abhishek Manu Singhvi is disrespecting Parliament by violating
it," Kejriwal said. The panel has recommended exclusion of
lower bureaucracy and Citizens` Charter from Lokpal Bill.

He claimed that the recommendations of the Standing
Committee will not have any impact on corruption but instead
it will dismantle the existing anti-graft mechanism.
"I think the recommendations of the (Parliamentary)
Standing Committee, whatever they are, the Lokpal which is
coming, I don`t think this will have any impact on corruption.

On the contrary, it is likely to dismantle whatever exists in
the name of anti-corruption in this country," he said.
Claiming that the Standing Committee proposes to divide
CBI into three parts, Kejriwal said the move will cripple the
investigating agency.

"So by taking excuse of Anna andolan rather than
strengthening the anti-corruption system, they seem to further
weaken whatever exists. We are disappointed," he said.
However, he was of the view that it was "extremely
difficult" at this stage to say anything because Standing
Committee`s recommendations were not final.

"The government can accept or go further than that. So
let`s wait and watch and only then we will be able to tell
what form," Kejriwal said.

He said that citizen`s charter and lower bureaucracy
both would not be part of Lokpal. "We have learnt that many
parties within Standing Committee have protested over it but
even such recommendations are still made," he said.

Asked whether Hazare will go ahead with his proposed
fast, he said it was for the Gandhian to take a call. "As far
as fast is concerned, it is Anna who is going to decide."
"All that I can say is we are committed till the end for
a strong Lokpal Bill," he added.

On the panel`s recommendation that Group C and D
employees would be covered under CVC, he said, "CVC has only
230 employees. How can these 230 employees keep a track of 57
lakh employees. You need to have at least 28,000 employees."
Another Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said opposition
parties should come together on Lokpal issue the way in which
they did so on FDI issue.

She also indicated that inclusion of Prime Minister under
Lokpal may not remain their priority, saying bringing CBI
under the ombudsman will make anti-corruption efforts more
effective than any other measure.

Bedi said Lokpal without CBI is a "sabotaged Lokpal"
which will defeat the very purpose of setting up such a

"More than the Prime Minister, it is the CBI in Lokpal
which will make it effective. Let`s not get distracted. A
united Opposition can call the bluff," she said.

She said CBI under Lokpal means all corruption exposed
and "many embarrassed, losing false images. Will they vote
against themselves?" She said Lokpal was supposed to be
replacing government control over CBI.


First Published: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 18:01
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