'Citizens favour Jan Lokpal Bill'

Rejecting the Centre’s draft Lokpal Bill, the citizens of the two constituencies have demanded that the Prime Minister and the judiciary come under the ambit of the ombudsman.

The NGOs had conducted the referendum of citizens above 18 years in both the constituencies and the result was released in Bangalore on Friday by former Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde.

In the referendum conducted by ‘India Against Corruption’ and ‘Corruption Saaku’, over 90 per cent of the people questioned have favoured the Jan Lokpal Bill pursued by the Team Anna

Ashwin Mahesh, the professor of Public Policy at IIM-B, said ‘Team India’ called upon Law Minister Veerappa Moily to explain why his views on the Lokpal Bill’s contents were different from those of his constituents. “The citizens are unambiguous, while the UPA representatives have taken a divergent view. They have made a mockery of the people’s rights,” he said.

He also said that Bangalore South MP and a senior BJP leader Ananth Kumar had so far not clearly expressed their support for the Jan Lokpal Bill. “The BJP should send a strong signal to the government. It is the primary role of the Opposition to provide a credible alternative to the government, especially when the latter is engaged in undermining democracy,” he added.

Santosh Hegde said: “But for Anna Hazare, there wouldn’t have been a Lokpal for another 60 years.” Objecting to the government-drafted Lokpal Bill he questioned the role of an institution which had limited powers. “What’s the use of creating an institution and keeping it impotent?”

Urging the MPs of Karnataka and of the Opposition to reject the draft Lokpall Bill, volunteers of the NGOs with the civil society will form a human chain in the City and stage a massive protest on August 16, supporting Anna’s sathyagraha. 

The referendum with eight  questions and responses
1. Every government officer should have his duty clearly spelt out for all to see and should be penalised if she/he does not do his job on time.
R: 98% in Bangalore and 99 % in Chikkaballapur said Yes.
2. What levels of government officers should Lokpal cover?
R: B’lore - 88 % ; C’ballapur - 95% said ‘all levels’
3. Should Lokpal cover only the Central government or should it also cover all states simultaneously via lokayuktas?
R: B’lore - 93 % ; C’ballapur - 96% s aid ‘all States’
4. Who should investigate corruption of MPs in Parliament?
R: B’lore - 92 %;  C’ballapur - 96 % said ‘Lokpal’
5. Who should investigate corruption of judges?
R: B’lore - 86%; C’ballapur- 94% said ‘Lokpal’
6. Who should investigate corruption charges against the PM?
R: B’lore - 86%; C’ballapur- 92%  said ‘Lokpal’
7. Who should be able to dismiss government officers found guilty of corruption?
R: B’lore -  83 %;  C’ballapur - 93% said ‘Lokpal’
8. How should your MP vote in Parliament on the Lokpal bill?
R: B’lore - 90 %; C’ballapur - 96% said ‘Lokpal’.

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