Even as protest in support of the Jan Lokpal bill is underway at the Azad Maidan, another umbrella body, the Constitutional Agitation Against Corruption (CAAC), formed by Dalit outfits demonstrated against the proposed anti-corruption bill at the same ground.
The outfits alleged that the Jan Lokpal bill was anti-constitutional and also demanded that the proposed Lokpal planned by the central government should also have powers to look into corruption in corporate sector, temples, trade and NGOs.
“We oppose the Jan Lokpal bill as it is being formed by a handful of people. We want corruption in corporates, temples, NGOs to be included under its ambit. If any legal act has to be passed, it should be formed as per the constitutional norms and rules,” said Sunil Khobragade, convenor, CAAC.
Speaking against the bill, advocate Gunratna Sadavarte said, “There is no inclusion of those belonging to the socially backward classes and women in the Jan Lokpal draft, which is a violation of article 309 and 16 of the Constitution. If the Lokpal is formed, there should be reservation for them.”
The CAAC volunteers demonstrating at the same ground wore blue-coloured Gandhi topis and T-shirts with ‘Me Anna Hazare Nahi’ (I am not Anna Hazare) and ‘Savidhan Vachwa’ (Save the Constitution) printed on it.
The CAAC volunteers also shouted slogans against Hazare and the Jan Lokpal bill at Azad Maidan.
At the ground, 17 volunteers of the India Against Corruption (IAC) are still on indefinite hunger strike to express their solidarity with Hazare. A few of them discontinued their fast after Hazare urged them to do so.
IAC volunteer Dhiraj Rambhia said, “Most of the major unions and associations have extended their support. We we want to spread awareness about this bill,” adding that support for Hazare’s anti-graft bill has been growing over the past two weeks, which is a very encouraging and a positive sign.