Lokpal won't create parallel state: Anna

Lokpal won't create parallel state: Anna

War on graft: Give same level of autonomy given to poll panel, says Gandhian

Earlier in the day, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said in Ranchi that Hazare was seeking to create a “parallel government” through Jan Lokpal bill “without accountability” and flouting the basic structure of the Constitution.

Having kept political leaders at arms length during the stir over a strong anti-corruption watchdog, Hazare said the civil society would elicit views of all parties on the twin drafts prepared by them and the government representatives and discuss how to stamp out corruption.

“We will ask them (political parties) to study the two drafts and let us know if they find anything that is against the Constitution in our draft. We would like to know if our draft is an attempt at forming a parallel government,” the Gandhian told said over phone.

“We will meet them and tell them to decide after reading the draft, so that no one says that they were not shown the draft,” he said. “Civil society members, including myself, will meet chiefs and leaders of various parties and will also tour some states. I am at my village for a couple of days in connection with court work,” Hazare said.

Maintaining that he was always open to discussions to remove the hurdles in the draft bill, Hazare said, “We are demanding that the same level of autonomy given to the Election Commission and Information Commissioner be given to Lokpal, who should be given powers of inquiry. What stops you from empowering Lokpal with powers of investigation?”  

Earlier, Hazare team including Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia briefed Advani in Delhi about the deliberations in the joint draft committee meetings on the Bill.

“The meeting was very encouraging. Advani told us that the country needs an effective Lokpal,” Bedi said after the meeting.

Friday’s meeting was the first in the series of such confabulations planned by the civil society to mobilise support for their version of the Lokpal Bill.

In Ranchi, Sibal said that Anna wanted the Lokpal to have the power to tap any one without permission, which again meant an authority unto itself.  “It flouts the Indian Telegraph Authority. Is it a military institution?” he asked.

“Anna asks for prosecution powers sans accountability for the Lokpal, which means he wants a parallel government. Did our framers of the Constitution ever think of such a situation arising now?” Sibal told reporters.

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