Political entry affected credibility of Anna movement: Santosh Hegde

Taking exception to Arvind Kejriwal launching a political party, Justice Santosh Hegde on Thursday said it has affected credibility of the movement.

Thiruvanathapuram: Taking exception to former Team Anna member, Arvind Kejriwal launching a political party, Justice N Santosh Hegde on Thursday said it has affected credibility of the movement against corruption in the country

However, Hegde said the movement, launched by Anna Hazare, could be strengthened and rebuilt by including more retired bureaucrats and retired army people.

"I am told by Hazare that he had been in contact with some retired bureaucrats and other eminent personalities to rebuild the movement which has come to a standstill now", Hegde said during an interaction with students of the Asian School of Business after a talk on `The Role of Indian Youth in Democracy` here.

Distancing himself from the political party launched by Kejriwal, Hegde said, "I am not part of that group. I am not joining politics and will continue in the watchdog body on the functioning of administration and political parties".

Criticising the inclusion of former Telecom Minister A Raja and Congress MP Suresh Kalmadi in Parliamentary Committees, Hegde said the decision overlooked morality.

"It is surprising that persons perceived to be corrupt, in this case it is a reality, are included in Parliamentary Committees. In that case why were they not included in cabinet?" he asked.

Though it was the Speaker`s prerogative to select representatives to be included in committees, Hedge said it was not proper to include Raja and Kalmadi.

Stating that corruption in the country has assumed a monstrous form, Hegde said, "I do not think the country could survive with the huge losses suffered due to corruption."

Corruption in the country has affected growth and the economy, he said and wanted the youths and students to play very active role to fight the menace, which, he said, has even creeped into the Judiciary.

Hegde said people in power were not sincere in bringing reforms to fight corruption. Lokpal Bill, police reforms, electoral reforms, Right to re-call elected representatives besides judicial reforms were pending before the Centre for long, he pointed out.