Senior Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar said on Sunday that Gandhian Anna Hazare's movement against graft was not able to "understand the malaise" of lop-sided economic growth and also carried the danger of undermining democracy.
Without directly referring to Hazare, he said: "We need inclusive growth. High growth means deep social fissures. The recent movement has not understood the malaise. It carries the danger of undermining our democracy," he said, adding that the civil society should agitate but the resolution of issues can only take place in the institutions of democracy.
Aiyar, who is convenor of Rajiv Gandhi Panchayati Raj Sangathan of the Congress and a nominated member of the Rajya Sabha, said if a politician is not allowed to enter Jantar Mantar and "anybody who says he has got the support of the people is described as a filthy dirty fellow and these noble people will never fight an election... then you are endangering democracy."
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a function to mark National Panchayat Diwas here, Aiyar demanded that government should set up a committee on the role of panchayati raj institutions (PRIs) in 12th Plan to attain objective of inclusive growth.
Echoing sentiments expressed earlier by Panchayati Raj Secretary ANP Sinha about the 11th Plan not being panchayat-friendly, Aiyar said the country will not be able to sustain development or promote democracy without active involvement of PRIs.
He said Planning Commission officials had admitted that 11th plan had not achieved desired objectives of inclusive growth.
"If we are to preserve our democracy and sustain development, inclusive growth is a critical prerequisite. Without (involvement of) panchayati raj institutions, we will not be able to sustain development or promote democracy," Aiyar said.