Hisar bypoll campaign paid dividends: Kiran Bedi



New Delhi: Describing the passing of Lokayukta Bill in Uttarakhand as a "revolution" in governance, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi on Wednesday said their campaign in Hisar by-polls has paid dividends though some of them had to face "bitter" experiences due to it.

Bedi said the passing of the Bill in Uttarakhand Assembly unanimously with even Congress supporting it now raises the possibility that the Jan Lokpal bill could be passed without any opposition in Parliament during Winter Session.

She was of the view that the unanimous passing of the Lokayukta Bill was significant as it sets the tone for other states, which will face questions why they were not going ahead with the setting up of anti-corruption ombudsman.

"Congress was also part of the unanimous decision to pass the Lokayukta Bill which is in full spirit of Jan Lokpal Bill. Now, how can the party go back. If Uttarkhand can pass it, then Parliament can also pass it unanimously," Bedi told PTI.

Uttarakhand Assembly last night passed a bill to set up a Lokayukta which brings in its net the post of the Chief Minister, Ministers, MLAs and government servants including IAS and IPS officers with a provision of life imprisonment or more severe punishment.

Claiming that Team Anna's anti-Congress campaign in Hisar bypolls set the tone, she said the exercise brought many bitter experiences for some of them but it started a reversal process.

"The Hisar bypoll campaign was bitter for some of us individually but collectively it paid dividends for the country. If we did not have gone to Hisar, Jan Lokpal Bill would not have become an election issue," she said.

Bedi claimed that the Bill passed by Uttarakhand Assembly and to be operationalised within 180 days was a replica of Jan Lokpal Bill and it was "something which was missing in our system till now."

Bedi said the Bill provides for protection of whistle-blowers as well as grievance redressal. "It has exactly what we are demanding," she said.

She claimed that the state Bill provides for state vigilance wing reporting to the Lokayukta.

"The Bill covers both the bribe giver and bribe taker. There is a provision for blacklisting corporate who tries to bribe lawmakers," she said.

On the selection and search panel, she said the state bill has the best option. She said the search panel is an independent body of eminent retired personalities who have not joined politics.

The Lokayukta is envisaged as a watchdog which can even take, recommend or direct the official machinery if it finds a pattern in corrupt practices in a particular area or department.

PTI