Even as the government and Team Anna are at loggerheads over what the national ombudsman on corruption should be like, a chorus is growing to make the institution representational of the castes in the country.
On Friday, Uttar Pradesh chief minister Mayawati said the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes should be given proper representation in Lokpal institution.
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader added that if “these sections of the society failed to get adequate representation, the party would not support the bill in the Lok Sabha.”
Meanwhile, the Forum of SC ST Parliamentarians raised concern about the issue and demanded that the Lokpal should have the representation of SC, STs and other backward communities.
“None of the versions — government's to NCPRI — represent concerns of these communities. We demand that 50% of the Lokpal members and its subordinate offices to be from SC, ST, OBC and minorities,” J Seelam, secretary general of the forum told HT.
The forum wants corruption to be defined in such a way to include denial of justice, entitlements to the SC, STs by officials.
K Suresh, president of forum, said they would submit a memorandum of their demands to the Prime Minister, personnel minister and also the Parliamentary Standing Committee reviewing the Bill.
The SC, ST MPs would also raise these concerns in the debate on Lokpal Bills in Parliament on Saturday.
"For a fair trial, it is essential that members from backward communities find a place in Lokpal,” Seelam said.
Mayawati who made her views on Lokpal public on Friday said she opposed the inclusion of lower-rank officials under the Lokpal. She also made it clear that appointment of Lokayukta was a state subject and 'the matter should be left to the respective state governments.
Taking dig at Team Anna, Mayawati said if they wanted Lokpal Bill as per their conditions, then instead of agitation they should contest 2014 elections to form the government “so that their bill could be passed”.
Mayawati said that UPA and NDA were desperately trying to make the issue serve their political interests. “The impasse should be resolved at the earliest so that agitation could be withdrawn.”