New Delhi: Breaking his silence on an issue that has swept the whole nation, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Rahul Gandhi on Friday called for making Lokpal a constitutional body, just like Election Commission.
Addressing the Lok Sabha on the issue of corruption and Lokpal logjam, the Gandhi scion thanked Anna Hazare for helping to articulate public sentiment and bringing the nation’s fight against corruption on the forefront.
“The fight against corruption needs a strong political will,” Rahul underlined, adding Lokpal alone cannot be a substitute to an anti-corruption code.
“I doubt one anti-corruption law can eradicate corruption. One law is not enough,” he asserted during Zero Hour, amid noisy protests from NDA members.
Agreeing that "corruption is pervasive" which operates at "every level", he said no simple solution exists to eradicate corruption.
"We cannot wish away corruption by the mere desire to see it removed from our lives. This requires a comprehensive framework of action and a concerted political programme supported by all levels of the State from the highest to the lowest,” Rahul said as Priyanka Gandhi watched from the visitor’s gallery in Lok Sabha.
Speaking on the anti-graft protests across the country, Rahul said such agitations are dangerous for democracy. He further appeared to disapprove Anna Hazare`s fast, saying, "Individual dictates, no matter how well-intentioned, must not weaken the democratic process.”
“A tactical incursion, divorced from the machinery of an elected government that seeks to undo the checks and balances created to protect the supremacy of Parliament sets a dangerous precedent for a democracy."
“We must respect parliamentary democracy.” He wondered what our response would be if such protests one day target our secular and plural fabric.
Rahul said the supremacy of Parliament must be maintained as it is a pillar of our democracy.
He said political parties should be more democratic and Parliament must have more youth. Besides, we have to move our democracy to inner villages and cities of our country.
Talking to reporters outside Parliament, Rahul said, "I made a suggestion to elevate the existing discourse... let`s talk about an independent body like the Election Commission that would look into corruption. It is a game-changing idea. Let`s consider this. It is an idea more advanced than the discussion."
Asked why it took so long for him to speak, he said: "I like to think about things and then speak about them."
Earlier in the day, AICC general secretary held a 30-minute meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at 7, Race Course Road.
The duo reportedly discussed the Lokpal issue.
Rahul had said yesterday that he was concerned over the logjam in the wake of Hazare`s agitation against corruption.
"Of course I am concerned," he had said when asked whether he is concerned about the standoff on the Lokpal issue and Hazare`s refusal to end the fast.