Team Anna questions logic of RS Committee looking into Lokpal

Attacking politicians ahead of their indefinite fast this month, Team Anna today questioned the need for Rajya Sabha Select Committee to go into the Lokpal Bill again, alleging that it was to delay its passage.

They also said that doubts have arisen over the intention of the government and political parties on Lokpal Bill and alleged that the MPs insulted Parliament by going against the commitment that the law will cover lower bureaucracy, Citizen Charter and setting up of Lokayuktas in states.

In a letter to Select Committee Chairman Satyavrat Chaturvedi, Team Anna said this was the third committee formed to look into the Bill in the past one year and 11th in 44 years.

"When the question of passing a strong Bill that will ensure that corrupt ministers are punished, 44 years are not enough. The Bill has been send to committees 11 times. Are all parties and Parliament willing to pass a strong Lokpal Bill or is it that the committees are to delay it?

"After Parliament Standing Committee went through it, now we have a new Select committee. How is this Select Committee different from the earlier Standing Committee? Within a few months, suggestions have been invited again?" it said.

Releasing the letter to media, activist Arvind Kejriwal said nobody knows who is in the ruling dispensation and who is in opposition as they speak in similar voices.

Noting that Parliament has already received around 13,000 suggestions last September, they said, if the Select Committee wants, they can discuss this. "What is the necessity to seek suggestions again? More importantly, what is the logic for setting up a new committee?" the letter said.

Asking as to what happened to the suggestions given earlier, Team Anna said the Standing Committee has already looked into the matter for four months. The setting up of Select Committee is to delay the passage of a strong Bill, they said.

"The parties are going against a unanimous commitment. Does it mean that the parties have come together to cheat people? Is it that they are insulting Parliament? As this Select Committee has members from all parties, we feel that they have to answer these questions first," Team Anna said.

The activists alleged that the existing bill on which the Select Committee is working is a "very bad" bill and there was no point in going ahead with this exercise.

"The discussions should be based on Jan Lokpal Bill. That will happen only if the government's intentions are right. Now doubts have arisen over the intention of the government and all parties," the letter said.

Team Anna also sought to attack UPA Vice Presidential candidate Hamid Ansari over the way he adjourned the Rajya Sabha proceedings in the Winter Session resulting in non-passage of Lokpal Bill.

"On that night, the whole country watched the way the bill was torn apart, the way the whole day was wasted on long speeches," Kejriwal said.

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