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Friday, 9 December 2011

Anna blames Rahul Gandhi for parliamentary committee's Lokpal report

Ralegan Siddhi/New Delhi:  Anna Hazare today attacked the Parliamentary Standing Committee report on Lokpal, saying it was fooling people while his team questioned its "credibility" saying it had the support of only 12 MPs.

He alleged the report will not help in any way to fight corruption and repeated his charge that Rahul Gandhi was behind the recommendations of the panel.

"The issues remain the same. This means the Standing Committee has fooled the public. Their report does not help in fighting corruption," he told reporters in Ralegan Siddhi.

Renewing his demand for inclusion of the lower bureaucracy under the ambit of Lokpal, Hazare said government wants to bring Group C and D employees under Central Vigilance Commission (CVC). "The CVC is under government, it will do what the government says. Then what is the point," he said.

He also objected to the Standing Committee's recommendation to keep MPs' conduct inside Parliament out of the ombudsman's ambit asking "why are they scared".

"Even a school boy would know that it is a trick," he said.

His colleagues in Delhi, meanwhile, attacked the Parliamentary Standing Committee questioning the credibility of its report.

"Standing Committee had 30 members. Two never attended. Sixteen dissented. So this report is supported by the balance 12. Seven are from the Congress, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Amar Singh and rest from Mayawati's BSP. So much for the credibility of this report," prominent Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said.

However, panel chairman Abhishek Singhvi had earlier said that a dissent note by an MP does not mean that he or she is against the entire report and they may be expressing their reservations against one or more points.

Hazare, who will be fasting on Sunday in protest against the exclusion of his key demands like bringing the lower bureaucracy under Lokpal, said the government was saying from the beginning that they will bring a strong Lokpal Bill but they have brought a very weak bill.

"Who is behind this? The Prime Minister has written to me.

Pranab Mukherjee wrote to the Standing Committee that Parliament has passed a resolution. But the Standing Committee says it has not received any communication. Is this a government or a trader's shop?" he said.

However, the Standing Committee report made public today clearly mentions that the panel was in the know of the Parliament resolution. "...There was a detailed discussion on the statement of the Minister of Finance on the issues relating to the setting up of the Lokpal in both the Houses of Parliament on the 27th August, 2011," it said.

Hazare said he trusts Parliament but asserted that a "show-off" draft will not help things.

Team Anna also said they will oppose "tooth and nail" the Standing Committee proposals on the ombudsman which they claimed is taking the anti-corruption systems in the country two steps backward.

Claiming that the committee recommendations, if implemented, would increase corruption and disintegrate CBI's functioning, Kejriwal said, "This report takes our anti- corruption systems two steps back. We must oppose this report tooth and nail".

Lawyer Prashant Bhushan said the proposals were likely to increase corruption rather than being able to control it.

Activist Kiran Bedi said, "Damage is done by keeping CBI's investigation powers out of Lokpal - whole reason for the Lokpal? Will Parliament undo?"

Bedi said the fears about diluting the Lokpal were not unfounded.


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