‘Regret relegating Lokpal movement to Team Anna’

94-year-old Gandhian Shambhu Dutt, who ended his fast-unto-death demanding Lokpal bill after Team Anna`s promise to shoulder the campaign, says he now regrets his decision.

Last Updated: Nov 08, 2011, 10:19 AM IST

New Delhi: 94-year-old Gandhian Shambhu Dutt,
who ended his fast-unto-death demanding Lokpal bill after Team
Anna`s promise to shoulder the campaign, says he now regrets
his decision to hand over his fight to Anna Hazare and his
core committee of "yes men".

Dutt, general secretary of Gandhian Seva and Satyagraha
Brigade, along with his five colleagues was the first to sit
on fast-unto-death on January 30 last year over the Lokpal
issue.

"Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh came to us and pleaded to
end our protest saying they will carry forward the protest.
In retrospect, I think we should not have called off the
protest. We were more sincere in our determination," Dutt said.

Slamming Team Anna, he said the core committee members
were "insubstantial".

"Team Anna and particularly Arvind Kejriwal has lost the
credibility in the eyes of those who know the inside story.
The core committee is full of all yes men and there is no
substance in the committee. The excesses and transgresses will
prove to be undoing of Hazare`s campaign," he claimed.

Terming Hazare`s threat to campaign against Congress in
poll-bound states as "childish", he said, "Hazare keeps
changing his stand. Earlier he said he would not oppose
Congress. He should have waited to see what kind of bill the
government is proposing before Parliament."

Dutt`s organisation has submitted a memorandum on Lokpal
issue to the Parliamentary Standing Committee and has rejected
several proposals of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

"We supported Hazare`s corruption campaign but we have
objections to some of the provisions in the Jan Lokpal bill,"
he said.

Dutt has also written a letter to Law Minister Salman
Khurshid demanding that the confiscation of illegally acquired
property bill be introduced at the most in the Budget Session
of Parliament 2012.

He has threatened to resume his hunger strike from
January 30 if the bill is not introduced by then.

"The Law Commission of India had sent a draft of the bill
to be enacted, but the government has been silent about this
bill during the last 12 years. The confiscation of illegally
acquired property by corrupt means bill is important than the
Lokpal bill," Dutt said.

PTI