Anna above Parliament, can pressurise it: Kejriwal
Attempting to blunt the criticism against Anna Hazare for pressurising the government on Jan Lokpal Bill, Arvind Kejriwal said that Anna is above Parliament and he has the right to do so as a citizen.delhi Updated: Oct 09, 2011 15:33 IST
Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal has said that Anna Hazare is above Parliament and he has the right to do so as a citizen. "Of course, he is putting himself above (Parliament). Every citizen is above Parliament. Let me caution you, every citizen is above Parliament. The citizen has every right to tell the Parliament has not done the job. "Citizens are more important than Parliament. It is in the Constitution. Anna Hazare and every citizen is supreme. I think the Constitution says so," Kejriwal told Karan Thapar in Devil's Advocate programme in CNN-IBN.
He was responding to questions how one can justify threats of fast to get a bill passed in Parliament and whether Hazare was putting himself above Parliament.
Kejriwal justified the decision to campaign against Congress in the Hisar by-elections, saying it was the ruling party's duty to ensure the passage of the Jan Lokpal Bill. He also said Hazare meant the whole UPA when he said he will campaign against Congress. Attempting to blunt the criticism against the movement for taking an anti-Congress plank, he said that it may campaign against BJP in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls if it does not fulfil its promise of supporting the Jan Lokpal Bill. "If any party goes back from the promise, in the UP elections, we may go and campaign against BJP," he said when asked whether Team Anna would campaign against BJP in the UP Assembly polls if it did not honour the letter of support given to them by party chief Nitin Gadkari. Hazare has appealed to voters in Hisar not to vote for Congress and others who have not given letters assuring that it will support Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament.
When pointed out that senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had said that his party did not subscribe to all the provisions of the Bill, Kejriwal said, "right now I am taking it (Gadkari's letter) on face value. How can you now say that Jaitley is right or wrong or Gadkari is right or wrong...?" "Whether a particular party will deliver (its promise) will be proved in Parliament. If the BJP does not deliver, the country will go to elections in some place or the other," he said.
Defending the decision to oppose Congress, he said it was the duty of the ruling party to get any bill passed in Parliament. "Congress is playing politics and trying to crush the movement," Kejriwal claimed. Asked why Hazare was targeting Congress only, the Team Anna member said he wanted to clarify that the Gandhian meant UPA when he referred to Congress. In a bid to justify not naming UPA partners, he said the allies have little stake in the five states which are going to poll in the near future. Queried why it has not announced its intention to campaign against Samajwadi Party or BSP which has already made it clear that they have issues on Hazare's Bill, he said these parties were not involved in getting the Bill passed. "It is the UPA which is involved in passing of the Bill. So if the UPA does not pass the Bill, Anna will campaign against the UPA," he said, adding that it was not the duty of the BSP or SP to get the Bill passed in Parliament. Govt agrees to disclose audio recordings of Lokpal committee proceedings
To a question whether an anti-Congress stand would help candidates who have no clean image, Kejriwal said Hazare was not there to issue "character certificates" to candidates and say that one particular person is good or bad. Noting that he does not think the movement will lose credibility due to its anti-Congress stand, the activist said the feedback received on their decision to campaign against Congress was positive.