Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh today questioned the "huge" funding for anti-corruption Anna Hazare's 4-day hunger strike in Delhi and asked if politicians are uncivilized and cannot be members of civil society.
Speaking at the Press Club here, Singh claimed Rs 50 lakh was spent for Hazare's agitation at Jantar Mantar.
"When we demanded that it should be brought out how much money was spent for organizing Hazare's hunger strike at Jantar Mantar in Delhi and who helped it financially, we were told that Rs 82 lakh was raised from the corporate sector", he said.
"If civil society people spent Rs 50 lakh for four-day agitation at Jantar Mantar, then why do they are after the politicians telling them to meet the expenditures for contesting Lok Sabha and assembly elections within a limit"? Singh said.
He said the job of finalizing the draft of a Lokpal Bill cannot be left to only a few members of civil society and suggested the Bill should also include the corporate sector and NGOs.
"Though I am in favour of the Bill, the job of finalising the draft for such an important institution cannot be left just to a few members of the civil society," Digvijay Singh said.
"If Anna Hazare and his associates think that whatever they decide in the name of civil society is sacrosanct, it is not acceptable," the Congress leader said.
He asked why only a select members of the civil society were in the present panel (besides ministers). "Are politicians uncivilised? Can't they be members of civil society?"
Singh suggested that the drafting committee should invite representatives of all the political parties to discuss the Bill and it should also ponder how the corporate sector and NGOs could be brought within the ambit of Lokpal.
He also said it could not be expected that the draft finalised by the civil society members would be accepted as it was. "How can anyone take away the rights of the elected representatives?"
Singh said Hazare was a nice man but was in the grip of some people who were using him.
Asked if politicians were afraid of Hazare, he said "not at all. I used to touch his feet and will do so in future also. But we will not accept his view that all politicians and voters are dishonest.