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‘Let parties decide if our draft unconstitutional’

Last Updated: Friday, June 24, 2011 - 18:35

Mumbai: Replying to criticism that he was
seeking to create a `parallel government` through a Jan Lokpal
bill without accountability, flouting the basic structure of
the Constitution, social activist Anna Hazare today said all
parties should decide if that was the case.

"We have decided to approach leaders of all political
parties and show them the government`s draft and our draft.
"We will ask them to study the two drafts and let us know
if they find anything that is against Constitution in our
draft. We would like to know if our draft is an attempt at
forming a parallel government," Hazare told PTI over phone.

The Gandhian said civil society members would ask the
leader of all parties their views on the drafts and how to go
about eradicating corruption in our society.

"We will meet them and tell them to decide after reading
our draft, so that no one says later that they were not shown
the draft."

Today`s meeting of Lokpal bill drafting committee member
Arvind Kejriwal and former top cop Kiran Bedi with senior BJP
leader L K Advani was a part of this process, he said.

Asked about Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh`s
reported `warning` to him not to fast again else he may get
the "same treatment" as Baba Ramdev, Hazare said "If the party
is endangered, people (like Digvijay Singh) are bound to

"They are bound to make attempts to checkmate the
agitation and ensure that people do not participate," he said.

"We will make our efforts, they will make their efforts
(to foil the agitation). Why should I worry about that."

"Civil society members, including myself, will meet
chiefs and leaders of various parties and will also tour some
states. I am at my village for a couple of days in connection
with court work," Hazare said.
Asked if he was open to discussions on stumbling blocks
in the draft, Hazare said "I have often said that issues could
be resolved through discussions. I told this to those in the
government. That you sit with us, be ready for discussions".

"Some people say that we are going outside the purview of
the Constitution, looking at our draft. I want to tell them
that we are not acting against the spirit of the
Constitution," Hazare said.

"We are demanding that the same level of autonomy given
to the Election Commission and Information Commissioner be
given to Lokpal, who should be given powers of inquiry. What
stops you from empowering Lokpal with powers of
investigation," he said.

Hazare`s remarks came after Union HRD Minister Kapil
Sibal said the Gandhian leader was seeking to create a
`parallel government` through a Jan Lokpal bill without
accountability, flouting the basic structure of the

"Anna asks for prosecution powers sans accountability for
the Lokpal, which means he wants a parallel government. Did
our framers of the Constitution ever think of such a situation
arising now?`` Sibal had said.

Hazare also took strong exception to Bal Thackeray`s
allegation that that his anti-corruption agitation was funded
by corporates and challenged the Shiv Sena supremo to name
such a corporate.

"Why do I need corporates? And if there is one, name it,
that this corporate helped you. (If that is the case), I will
become your slave for life. But stop making hollow claims. It
is not alright to accuse and defame someone," he added.


First Published: Friday, June 24, 2011 - 18:35

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