Hazare rules out change in Lokpal panel team
Anna Hazare today brushed aside Baba Ramdev's criticism on inclusion of father-son duo Shanti and Prashant Bhushan in Lokpal Bill drafting committee and virtually ruled out any change in the nominees, saying the focus is on having an effective anti-graft measure. What next | What is Lokpal Bill | Timeline | Picsdelhi Updated: Apr 10, 2011 18:25 IST
Gandhian Anna Hazare today brushed aside Baba Ramdev's criticism on inclusion of father-son duo Shanti and Prashant Bhushan in Lokpal Bill drafting committee and virtually ruled out any change in the nominees, saying the focus is on having an effective anti-graft measure.
In a bid to assuage Baba Ramdev, he said he will talk to the yoga guru as at this juncture, it is important to take the country together to fight corruption.
"I will request him (Ramdev) not to think like that. We will all take the country ahead together. There is love for the country inside him. I will tell him not to think of a person or individual and only keep the country in mind," the 73-year-old activist said here when asked why former IPS officer Kiran Bedi was not included as a committee member.
Hazare said, "I will request him, I will touch his feet telling him that we should do this for the country. To form the draft, it is important to have understanding of the law and experts are needed for it.The committee is just for two months".
Key activist Arvind Kejriwal, who has been nominated as a member of the committee, and Bedi said the issue was not about individuals but that of a strong legislation being drafted by it.
Kejriwal, a former IRS officer-turned activist, said last night he had talked to Ramdev and the misunderstanding has been cleared.
Bedi, who has been urging the media to give as much coverage to Hazare's campaign as they did during the Cricket World Cup, said she did not want to be part of the panel at all and wanted the experts to do their job.
"This is an A-plus team. Only those people can be part of this committee who know the government's functioning and can help in making a law that will look into all aspects of fighting large-scale corruption", Bedi said.
Hazare said that even he had initially refused to be part of the drafting panel as it was important to have an effective bill. "Who should be part of it and who should stay out are not important matters. This will be of importance at a later stage", he explained.
Noted lawyer Shanti Bhushan said that his son Prashant had himself raised the issue of the two being part of the same committee but maintained it was Hazare who felt that they as experts needed to be part of it.
Ramdev, who had joined the agitation, had objected to the inclusion of the Bhushans in the committee, alleging it showed nepotism. "Why is there nepotism in the committee? Why both father and son are accommodated in the committee?" Ramdev had asked.