In what might give momentum to the three-day anti-Jan Lokpal campaign, which has received a lukewarm response so far, known personalities such as writer Tushar Gandhi, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar and filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt will join the campaign on it’s final day, Saturday.
Human rights activist Ram Puniyani and Konkan Bachao Andolan leader Madhu Mohite are also expected to address the gathering on Saturday.
The campaign, organised at Azad Maidan by the National Campaign for Equal Opportunity (NCEO), began on Thursday.
“We are hoping to mobilise a larger crowd by inviting like-minded personalities and activists to share the campaign stage,” said Sunil Kadam, chief convenor, NCEO.
Clarifying the organisation’s stance, Amol Madamay, NCEO founder, said: “People may think we oppose the Jan Lokpal and support the government’s version of the bill, but that isn’t the case.”
“We want to make it clear that we are against the creation of a separate body called Lokpal,” he added.
Calling the Jan Lokpal an “illusion,” of being an authority against corruption, Ketkar said: “In reality, it would create a parallel monster in the name of corruption that would require a huge bureaucratic machinery with more than Rs two crore of public funds.”
He added that the need of the hour was to strengthen existing mechanisms like the Anti-Corruption Bureau, Central Vigilance Commission, and enquiry committees of all public departments.
Some of the campaign supporters include those who support the formation of the Lokpal, but do not entirely agree with Team Anna’s demands.
“Absolute authority should not be vested in the Lokpal. It should have effective checks and balances,” said former IPS officer Sudhakar Suradkar, who was present at Azad Maidan on Friday.
Suradkar also said that failure in the system had given rise to the need for an effective body like the Lokpal.