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Parliamentary Standing Committee has betrayed people over Lokpal, says Bhushan

 New Delhi, Dec 11 : Terming the recommendations made by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the proposed Lokpal Bill as extremely regressive, former Law Minister and Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan on Sunday said the people of the country should raise their voice against it and continue their protest for the formulation of an effective bill.

Addressing the gathering at the Jantar Mantar here, Bhushan said that the people should inform their representatives of Parliament about how the committee has betrayed the nation by grabbing the power of investigation.

“Today, why have you gathered here? Not only in Delhi but also in the entire country people have gathered today to boycott the report of Parliamentary Standing Committee. And so the question would also be raised over the issue in the parliament,” said Bhushan.

“So, its now you who have to inform your representatives of Parliament that how the standing committee has betrayed and so it should not be implemented, and effective and strong Lokpal Bill should be formulated,” he added.

Bhushan further said Hazare has been successful to motivate the youth for participating in the struggle for the formulation of an effective and a strong Jan Lokpal Bill through his actions.

“I don”t have any doubt to say that the people of this country have awoken; especially the youth, and they have come to know that their future is based on this struggle. This protest will help in the formulation of a new type of democratic institution where people would be heard,” he added.

Meanwhile, social activist Medha Patkar, who was also protest at Hazare’s fast venue, slammed the government and said that the argument that the employee number was too big to control is not acceptable and their only aim is to bring all the levels of bureaucrats within the purview of the bill.

“Our aim is to bring in judiciary, Prime Minister and all level of bureaucrats within the purview of Lokpal; hence we would not give up our protest. Many people were asking that whether this protest would be limited to the Parliament or will it go beyond that, and for how many days Anna would be on fast,” said Patkar.

“Thousands of people will fast from 27th (December). Anna would not sit alone and we should also not let him to sit alone on fast,” she added.

Patkar further said the people should actively fight for an effective ombudsman bill to root out corruption from the country.

“It is essential for the people of the country to reject the report and to understand the weakness of the report, to unite and fight for an effective and a stronger Lokpal,” she added.

Hazare sat on a daylong fast at the Jantar Mantar here to protest against the proposals of Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Lokpal Bill.

Hazare, who is fighting for a strong anti-graft bill, has been demanding that the lower bureaucracy should be brought within the ambit of the Lokpal besides provisions for Citizen”s Charter and setting up of Lokayuktas under a central law.

The 74-year-old social activist has also warned the government that he would sit on an indefinite fast from December 27 at the Ramlila Maidan here if a strong Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.

The Lokpal Bill is seen as a weapon to root out corruption and nepotism from the government machinery and in public life.

The proposed Bill envisages the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India.

Hazare had staged an indefinite hunger strike against graft that he gave up on August 28 when the government agreed to deliberate the issues raised by him and his forum vis-à-vis the passage and enactment of the Lokpal Bill, a suggestion that has received unprecedented nationwide backing.

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