Anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare has thrown his weight behind BJP MP Varun Gandhi’s demand for a “right to recall” law, stating that a legislation to this effect will revolutionise Indian democracy.
In a private-member legislation moved in the Lok Sabha in March, Gandhi had proposed an amendment that would provide for the recall of elected representatives within two years if 75% of the voters were unhappy with the ruling dispensation’s performance. The two-time parliamentarian had requested the BJP leadership to initiate a debate on the matter.
“Such a move will help increase political accountability and deepen democracy for all,” Gandhi tweeted on Thursday, sharing a two-page letter from the activist with his followers. “Honoured to have Shri Anna Hazareji’s support for the Right to Recall Bill that I introduced in Parliament.”
The anti-corruption activist’s letter pointed out that he had been demanding a similar legislation since 2008. “What we also need is a right to reject unsuitable candidates (before an election),” it further stated. “If a majority of the voters opt for the right to reject, voting should be cancelled and fresh elections ordered with new candidates.”
The introduction of the NOTA (none of the above) option was an incomplete job on the part of the election commission, Hazare said, adding that it “will not help bring true democracy into the country”.
The activist had spearheaded a massive public movement against the Congress-led UPA government in 2011, demanding the establishment of the Lokpal – an independent anti-corruption watchdog – to keep an eye on government machinery. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Puducherry governor Kiran Bedi were the key faces of the movement, which helped the BJP-led opposition build a strong case against alleged corruption in the then Manmohan Singh government.