The Congress on Tuesday called for widening the ambit of the Lokpal Bill to include the corporate sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as part of a comprehensive package against corruption.
“The committee formed to draft the Lokpal Bill should also consider the issue of corruption in the corporate sector and NGOs,” Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh said.
Singh’s demand is seen as hitting back at the NGOs, which had joined social activist Anna Hazare in his crusade against corruption and forced the government to concede the demand for a joint committee on the bill.
The drafts of both the Centre’s Lokpal Bill and the Janlokpal Bill of the civil society are silent on private sector.
Singh said corruption would not end with the Lokpal Bill and demanded a comprehensive strategy dealing with the problem. He said Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s five-point agenda for transparent governance, which she unveiled at the party plenary in December last year, should also be taken into consideration.
“There is also a need to create more awareness about the RTI Act, through which all cases of corruption are exposed so far. The Act must be simplified further to make it a more potent.”
Singh said there should be an RTI on “who bore the expenses of the agitation at Jantar Mantar” and the matter should be investigated.
Asked whether representatives of the civil society in the joint committee on the Lokpal Bill should declare their assets as the ministers on the panel have done, he said, “It’ll be in the highest tradition of transparency if they do that.”
Singh on his part described Hazare as a “very fine human being who has done excellent service in the rural sector”.
However, he took on Hazare for praising Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and also for “painting all politicians with the same brush”.