Hazare wants panel members to declare assets

Hazare wants panel members  to declare assets

Social activist Anna Hazare flanked by Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi addresses the media in New Delhi on Sunday. PTIWe will take up the matter before the committee. I agree that details of personal assets of all members of the committee should be in public domain,” he told reporters here.
The committee includes five cabinet ministers and five members from civil society.

Asserting that civil society wanted total transparency in the deliberations of the committee, he said the proceedings of the meeting would be recorded and made public to show them what they had discussed.

Father-son duo

Hazare firmly ruled out any changes in civil society’s nominees in Lokpal Bill drafting committee in the wake of Baba Ramdev’s criticism on the inclusion of the father-son duo, Shanti and Prashant Bhushan, in the panel.

Hazare asserted that he had talked to Ramdev and there were no differences on the issue.

Reiterating his earlier pronouncement, Hazare warned he would resume nation-wide agitation if an effective Lokpal legislation was not enacted by August 15.

“If the government again delays the Bill in Parliament after preparation of the draft, we will launch agitation once again...the Bill was brought before Parliament eight times in 42 years but it could not be enacted. Then what is the way out except agitation,” he asked.

Dismissing the criticism that he had resorted to “blackmail”, 73- year old Gandhian said, “People may say so. I will continue to do this blackmail till my last breath for people’s good...I am doing this for the benefit of the country.”

Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi, who was sharing the dais with Hazare at the press conference, said Anna would go on a fast if the Bill was not passed by August 15.
Hazare sought to affirm his faith in Parliament, rule of law and democracy. “But for these, the country would not have achieved so much progress in six decades,” he said, at the same time underlining that people are masters in democracy and lawmakers are their servants.

 Asked whether the civil society would agree to any amendment to the draft Bill proposed by the joint committee, he said they were open to "good" amendments to the bill. “We will accept even if Parliament makes a good amendment to improve the Bill,” he said.
Declaring they were focused on having a “good and effective” law against graft, the  social activist also said the process of formulating the act will be videographed and the procedures made public.

 The Gandhian went on a damage control mode to make it clear there will be no resignation or fresh appointments in the committee and spoke to Ramdev after the Yoga guru had objected to the inclusion of the Bhushans, both lawyers, in the panel. “I have talked to Ramdev. We have no personal differences on this issue. This issue will not be there for long. The committee will be there for two months. It is not a permanent committee for five to 10 years,” he told reporters.

 RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal appealed to the media not to see “conspiracy” in everything.
Hazare and Kejriwal strongly defended the inclusion of the Bhushan duo saying their services were required since they were legal experts and had a grip of the nitty gritty relating to drafting laws. 

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