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Saturday, 3 December 2011

Sisodia upset with Congress Party's decision to exclude certain provisions in Lokpal

New Delhi,: Veteran social activist Anna Hazare's close aide Manish Sisodia on Friday expressed dissatisfaction over the ruling Congress Party's decision to remove the Group C bureaucrats and exclude certain important institutions, which were previously supposed to be under the Lokpal ambit.

Sisodia said the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) should also be under the purview of the Lokpal, as administrative control would make this agency liable to the government.

 "It is a good thing if the draft is ready, but media reports suggest that group C and D people are not being included in this. Lokpal and CBI are two separate bodies and the appointment process is quite weak. It seems as if we are going to have weak governance. If we look at the government, then they are also bringing the Whistleblowers act, Citizens Charter act separately," said Sisodia.

"The strange part is that on 27 August, the Parliament had a day-long discussion and they came to a consensus in the evening that the Citizens Charter act as well as the inclusion of C and D people would be under the ambit of the Lokpal," he added.

Sisodia asserted that the exclusion of significant provisions in the anti-graft bill would create a feeling of betrayal among the people, who had taken to the streets to demand strong governance, since the Central Government has been entangled in the web of scams.

"So, who are they betraying? Aren't they fooling the public, isn't this an attempt to weaken the Lokpal? This is not about only listening to us, it is about crores of people who had come out on streets, they are being cheated," he said.

The parliamentary panel studying the Lokpal Bill had on Thursday decided to keep Group C employees - the bottom layer of government employees - out of the anti-graft bill.

The draft report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Lokpal Bill has proposed to bring social groups and media in the anti-graft legislation, while excluding lower bureaucracy, Citizen's Charter and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Anna Hazare has warned the government to clarify its stand on the passing of the Lokpal Bill during the Winter Session of Parliament.

He said that the government's stand on the bill continues to remain unclear and unfair, and if the status quo ante remained, he would protest in New Delhi on December 11.

The Jan Lokpal Bill, also referred to as the citizens' ombudsman bill, is a proposed independent anti-corruption law in India. This anti-graft bill is seen as a weapon to root out corruption and nepotism from the government machinery and in public life.

The 74-year-old social activist had staged an indefinite hunger strike against graft that he gave up on the 13th day on August 28 when the government agreed to deliberate the issues raised by him and his forum vis-…-vis the passage and enactment of the Lokpal Bill, a suggestion that has received unprecedented nationwide backing.


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