Conspiracy hatched to stall Lokpal: Team Anna

Lokpal battle: Congress and RJD involved in match-fixing in Rajya Sabha, says Kejriwal

Team Anna on Friday alleged that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had choreographed the high drama in the Rajya Sabha under a ''conspiracy'' to scuttle the passage of the  proposed anti-graft legislation in Parliament.

Team Anna members Kiran Bedi, Shanti Bhushan, Arvind Kejriwal and Prashant Bhushan addressing the media in Ghaziabad  PTI

Accusing the UPA of deceiving the people of the country, members of Team Anna contended that the bill could have been passed if the government had accepted the three amendments—autonomy to the Central Bureau of Investigation, selection and removal process for Lokpal and delinking setting up of Lokayukta—on which the Opposition was in agreement.

They alleged that the government used its position to misuse the parliamentary procedures in the Rajya Sabha, where it was in minority, to subvert the proposed legislation especially because it was not at all in favour of letting the CBI go out of its control.

Team Anna said the passage of the bill minus the proposal for setting up of Lokayuktas in states could have been the first step towards setting up a strong Lokpal, even as they were not fully convinced with the proposed legislation brought by the government in Parliament. “The way the voting in the Rajya Sabha was prevented shows that the government was committing fraud after fraud. They say they want to bring a strong Lokpal but they don’t have the intention,”Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said. The government hatched a conspiracy with Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to jeopardise the bill, he charged.

Kejriwal, however, said that the bill presented in the Upper House was not only “weak” but also “dangerous” as the Lokpal was to come fully under the control of government.
In the Lok Sabha, he said 55 amendments were moved but all of them were not useless. There were good proposals for amendments in the bill like the one demanding independence for the CBI but all of them were defeated by the government by “wrongly using its majority” and the bill was passed, he said.

“The TV channels had reported in the earlier part of the day that RJD members will create a ruckus and drag the proceedings till midnight so that the business cannot be carried out. The script of what transpired in the Rajya Sabha was written outside the House. Some people just acted according to it... it is a clear case of match fixing in Parliament,” he said. Prashant Bhushan, another Team Anna member, too, spoke in the same vein, alleging that high drama in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday showed that the UPA government had contempt not only for people but for Parliament, too.

“People were hired to disturb the proceedings, to tear the bill and then ensure that everybody goes home (without passing the bill,” he alleged.

Bhushan also made a veiled attack at UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi without taking her name, wondering if people of the country should allow continuance of the government in a democracy where decisions are taken at the instructions of “high command” of the ruling party. Shanti Bhushan, a key member of Team Anna, attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, saying he was present in the House when democracy was being “murdered” inside.

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