Corruption is not Anna’s only concern
From fiery and bizarre statements to maximalist demands and short deadlines, Team Anna appears to be engaging a large number of people with a spectrum of issues, not necessarily corruption. HT reports.delhi Updated: Aug 22, 2011 01:17 IST
From fiery and bizarre statements to maximalist demands and short deadlines, Team Anna appears to be engaging a large number of people with a spectrum of issues, not necessarily corruption.
While it is not yet clear how the impasse over the lokpal bill would be settled, Hazare brought into focus another bill - the land acquisition, rehabilitation and resettlement bill, which is under public debate now. The team also targeted the Indo-US Nuclear Bill, apart from running down the RTI Act."We will also have to fight for farmers' rights. Bring in a law that makes it mandatory to obtain permission from gram sabhas before acquiring land belonging to farmers," Hazare said on Sunday. He even argued for the rights of labourers.
Although the team is considering keeping the judiciary away from the lokpal, one of Hazare's close aides, Prashant Bhushan, added another demand. "We want a strong judicial accountability bill to be passed along with the Jan Lokpal bill," he said.
Although civil society members such as Aruna Roy of the National Campaign for People's Right to Information, asked Team Anna not to deride democratic institutions, the team has upped its attack on Parliamentary function, still going on to dictate its terms.
“I is the people’s demand that when the Parliament opens next Tuesday, the government should withdraw its version of the bill and introduce our version,” said former law minister Shanti Bhusan.
“The government should assure Hazare that when the Jan Lokpal bill comes up, they issue a whip and get the Jan Lokpal bill passed,” added Bhushan, a key member of Team Anna. This statement came at a time when the Prime Minister expressed willingness to engage in a give-and-take approach. But Team Anna wants the government to earn their trust first.
“The government has to create an atmosphere of trust by withdrawing their version of the bill from Parliament and introduce Jan Lokpal bill. Otherwise, we will not budge from our stand. This is the least they should do to earn our trust,” said Swami Agnivesh, a core member of Team Anna.
Hazare has given a deadline of August 30 to the government to pass the Jan Lokpal bill, failing which he will fast “till my last breath”. The deadline leaves six working days for the government to incorporate changes, vetting by law ministry and cabinet approval.
The Prime Minister on Saturday said there are difficulties in limiting the legislative process (within the deadline), “which takes time to get over.”
On whether such a crucial bill can be passed in a jiffy as per Hazare's dictation, Shanti Bhusan said it only takes three days “if government has a strong will”. “It can happen. I have been a Union law minister and I know how things how,” he said.
While former IPS officer Kiran Bedi declared that India is Anna and Anna is India, Shanti Bhushan said the government should get Anna's nod for even a small change it proposes in the lokpal bill.
“If the government feels that small changes need to be made to the bill, even those should be made only after taking permission from Hazare,” said Shanti Bhushan.
Arvind Kejriwal, a former civil servant who wants people to gherao MPs at their homes for Jan Lokpal bill, said the Standing Committee of Parliament is a waste of time.