Anna ok with Lokpal being a constitutional body
Pune: Anna Hazare on Thursday said that he had no
objection to making Lokpal a constitutional authority, as
suggested by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, provided
that it faced no governmental interference.
"I am not opposed to the Lokpal being made a
constitutional authority on the lines of Election Commission,
which is an autonomous body. But there should not be any
governmental interference in the functioning. It was ten years
ago that EC had written to the government on 'right to
reject', but still it has not become a law," Hazare said,
talking to agency here.
To a query, the anti-corruption crusader wondered why
some people opposed inclusion of Prime Minister in the ambit
of the proposed Lokpal bill. "If Prime Minister is included,
it will raise the status of the institution of Lokpal. If one
is clean, why should he be afraid of such inclusion?"
Hazare, who was in Pune in connection with a court case
involving former Maharashtra minister Suresh Jain, said the
Lokpal should have a wide jurisdiction, including over the
lower bureaucracy, so that it could offer relief to the common
man harassed by corrupt officials.
Hazare said he would undertake a one-day protest at
Jantar Mantar in Delhi on December 11, as the Standing
Committee on Lokpal bill had not considered all his demands.
He also claimed that fifty per cent of MPs had conveyed
their support to the Jan Lokpal bill during the talks with his
"While most of the political parties are supporting our
bill, Trinamool Congress and BSP have not made their stand
clear so far," he said.
Hazare reiterated that he would launch a fresh fast at
Ramlila maidan in Delhi on December 27, if the government
failed to get the Lokpal bill passed in the winter session of
Asked to comment on the NCP workers' protest in Delhi
condemning his reaction to the assault on union agriculture
minister and NCP chief Sharad Pawar last month, Hazare said,
"Those who shouted slogans against me at the samadhi of
Mahatma Gandhi had no moral standing."
Hazare's instant reaction on learning about attack on
Pawar ("just one slap?") had caused the activist a great
embarrassment, and forced him to issue a clarification.