New Delhi: Rahul Gandhi`s "game changing
idea" of making Lokpal a constitutional body like the Election
Commission was supported by Team Anna which however felt it
was only a long term solution while BJP asked the Congress
leader to stop giving "sermons".
Key members of Team Anna at the same time termed
Gandhi`s speech in the Lok Sabha on Lokpal issue as
"disappointing" since he should have said something on
immediate issues raised by the Gandhian with Kiran Bedi saying "You climb hills before you reach Mt Everest."
"It’s a game changing idea," Rahul told reporters
outside Parliament House after he broke his silence in the Lok
Sabha on the Anna Hazare issue.
Welcoming Rahul`s suggestion to give Lokpal a Election
Commission-type status, Activist Medha Patkar said "I
earnestly support it."
Patkar said in spite of talking about the broad issue,
the Congress General Secretary should have deliberated on the
immediate issues raised by the Gandhian, whose fast for a
strong Lokpal entered the 11th day today.
"Today`s urgency and concerns for lakhs and lakhs of
people have not been addressed," she said, adding "He did not
comment on the Lokpal Bill that he should have courageously
Kiran Bedi said, "The country is impatient for action
and implementation and not a mere well-intentioned long plan
on issues pending since independence.
"You climb hills before you reach Mt Everest. Lokpal is
a tall hill which will take you to the Everest. Begin and
prove the intention," Bedi said.
Another Team Anna member Justice Santosh Hegde said
Gandhi`s suggestion for a constitutional body looks like a
"Until the constitutional body is established there
should be a stautory body to eradicate corruption. If we go on
waiting we will have to wait for another 42 years," he said.
BJP while criticising Rahul`s speech said he should not
give sermons to the nation but persuade the Prime Minister to
bring changes in the Lokpal bill.
"We don`t want Rahul`s sermons. It is surprising that he
is giving sermons to the nation but his party under Manmohan
Singh is dilly-dallying on a strong Lokpal issue. We urge him
to stop sermonising and persuade Prime Minister to bring
changes in the Lokpal Bill," BJP leader Ananth Kumar said.
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar, a key Hazare
supporter, said Rahul`s suggestion was a "welcome move" but
felt he could have said something more on how to handle the
situation arising out of Hazare`s 11-day fast in its current
On Gandhi`s observation that Lokpal alone cannot be a
substitute for anti-corruption code, former Law Minister
Shanti Bhushan, a Team Anna member, quoting Hazare said that
one Lokpal will not eradicate corruption in the country, but
it will make a beginning.
"Bill for Lokpal does not clash with the
constitutional body which Rahul Gandhi is suggesting. It can
function even as a constitutional body," he said.