As Team Anna and India Against Corruption prepares to shift the Lokpal battleground to Mumbai, there were small ripples of protests against the Lokpal campaign in the city on Thursday.
A forum called the National Campaign for Equal Opportunity (NCEO) launched a three-day anti-Jan Lokpal campaign at Azad Maidan on Thursday, which was backed by the Rukhi Nayak Sanghatana and the Boot Polish Sangh.
The movement drew poor response from Mumbaiites on its first day. Sunil Kadam, chief NCEO convenor, attributed the poor response to the fact that the forum has not yet mobilised resources to spread their message and explain their stand.
“We are against the concept of creating a mechanism that will supersede all the constitutionally created mechanisms such as the Central Bureau of Investigation and Parliament,” said Chandrakant Jagtap, NCEO organiser.
“There is no logic in creating a parallel body that could also become corrupt,” said Kadam. “To tackle corruption, existing agencies must be strengthened and judicial process must be made accessible to common people.”
Dalit Panther, a social organisation, said it would organise protests in the city on the day Anna Hazare arrives for his fast. “We will hold a rally on December 27 from Chaityabhhomi in Dadar to Mantralaya to convey the message to Team Anna’s supporters that the movement is unconstitutional,” said founder Namdeo Dhasal.
Mangleshwar Tripathi, president of North Indian Development Council, said his organisation opposes Hazare’s anti-corruption movement. “He is not doing social service. His movement aims to gain political mileage,” he said.