Forget the fast, focus on Bill; civil society told

Forget the fast, focus on Bill; civil society told

He felt walking out of the Bill drafting committee meetings would give an advantageous alibi to the government to further delay the process of finalising the Bill. "It is not in the interest of the civil society to walk out of the drafting committee meetings," Raghunandan told reporters on Tuesday.

He said that India ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption was a positive approach, which shows that the government was serious on bringing a law to check corruption. The ratification has given a boost to the India Against Corruption movement too, he said. Although there were a few contentious issues, much ground had been covered in the meetings so far, with regard to the Bill, Raghunandan said.

“The differences can be overcome through negotiations, walking out of meetings will be a setback to the people's movement to make India corruption-free,” he said.

Raghunandan termed the Centre’s crackdown against the recent fast against corruption by Baba Ramdev 'very unfortunate'. He said that it was an unwarranted use of police force during a peaceful protest.

Fast at Freedom Park

Expressing solidarity with the anti-corruption campaign launched by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, several volunteers under the banner of ‘Bhrashtachara Saaku’ sat on a day-long ‘satyagraha’ at the Freedom Park on Wednesday.

The demonstrators were unanimous in their view that the Centre had no justification for the police action on peaceful activists at the Ramlila Maidan. The Centre should immediately tender an unconditional apology for the action and restore public faith in democratic institutions, they said.

Supporters of Ramdev also joined the ‘satyagraha’ later. Jnanananda Swami of the Patanjali Yoga Centre, who was present on the occasion, emphasised the need to organise the people in large numbers against corruption.

While the majority are struggling without even basic amenities, a few are living in luxury through corrupt means, he pointed out.

Many of the volunteers were holding placards saying: “I am against corruption. What about you?”

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