'Civil society leaders behaving like MLAs'

=“The prime minister and the home minister have made the position of the government quite clear in respect of the issue. I have nothing more to add,” said Mukherjee.

The prime minister said on Saturday that there was a lot of scope for give and take on the bill and the government was open to discussion and dialogue on the issue. He had also called for a broad national consensus on the issue.

Later, speaking at a function in Howrah, Mukherjee said that the leaders of the civil society movement for a Lokpal bill have given an impression as if they have become legislators.

“The way the civil society movement is continuing in the country, it gives an impression that the leaders have become legislators,” Mukherjee said.

Speaking at the Bengal Engineering and Science University in Shibpur in Howrah district, Mukherjee said he had been asked during a programme in Hanoi why the Indian government was giving so much importance to the civil society movement in the country.
“I told them that Indian democracy is not stagnant. It is multi-faceted. We have to consider opinions of different people and organisations. It is a new kind of process. We have to listen to them,” he said.

He said: “Pre-legislation consultation will not have to be necessarily confined to civil servants and political executives. If larger sections of society want to participate in it in a disciplined and well-established format, we can go for it. There may be failures, there may be successes but the point is Indian democratic system is not stagnant. It is expressing itself in various formats.”

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