CPI(M) takes exception to Hazare`s remarks on Indian voters

Last Updated: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 00:54

New Delhi: CPI(M) has taken exception to
remarks made by Anna Hazare during his campaign for Lokpal
Bill that Indian voters cast their votes for a Rs 100 note or
a bottle of alcohol, terming it as "bizarre" and saying such
"disdain and contempt" for parliamentary democracy was
"disturbing".

Though committing itself to the passage of a Lokpal
Bill for which Hazare went on a hunger strike, the party
criticised the social activist for his remarks and also found
Union Minister Kapil Sibal`s comment seeking to counterpoise
development versus the Lokpal Bill "equally bizarre".

In an editorial in party mouthpiece Peoples`
Democracy, the CPI(M) said to a question on why he is not
entering Parliament to be a part of the law making process,
Hazare replied in a "bizarre fashion" that he would never seek
to contest an election because he would lose, indeed forfeit
his deposit.

The party quoted the Gandhian as saying that the
"ordinary voter does not have awareness. They cast their vote
under the influence of Rs 100 or a bottle of liquor, or a
saree offered by the candidates. They don`t understand the
value of their vote."

"Such utter disdain for the voter and contempt for
parliamentary democracy is indeed disturbing...This cannot be
allowed," the editorial said.

"Whenever there was a challenge to India`s secular
democratic character, it was this very voter that upheld and
safeguarded the vision of a modern India. It was this very
voter that defeated Indira Gandhi`s emergency regime and
reestablished democracy with such vigour that it has now
become inseparable with Indian reality.

"...When secularism appeared to be under threat it was
this very voter who surprised everybody and blew to dust the
pompous conception of a shining India by defeating the BJP-led
NDA in the 2004 general elections.

"Without this voter, India today may not have been
what it is and could well have been robbed of the vibrancy
that amongst more important attributes, allows candle-light
protests and hunger strikes," it said.

On the joint committee to draft the Lokpal Bill, the
party said, "Irrespective of how this will unfold, the fact
remains that in the background of the exposure of mega scams
at rapid frequent intervals, the need for an effective
legislation that should make the principle of accountability
meaningful and tangible becomes all the more imperative."

Noting that the concept of the Lokpal was first
suggested by an Administrative Reforms Committee in 1969
headed by former Prime Minister Morarji Desai, the party said
that it had time and again raised the issue.

"We would have to wait for this committee`s draft to
be brought before the Parliament for its consideration.
According to our constitutional scheme of things, it is the
Parliament and Parliament alone that can enact laws.

"The Left is committed to the enactment of a law that
is both effective, transparent, covers all sections and probes
all angles in its ambit to prevent corruption," the editorial
said.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 15, 2011 - 00:54

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