Face to Face: Activist Vishwambhar Choudhari on pressure from the masses required to implement Lokpal ActUpdated: Sep 04, 2017 18:42 IST
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act came into effect in 2013. For the last three years, the government seems to have done little and has failed to implement the Lokpal Act 2013. Pune-based activist Vishwambhar Choudhari talks to Jui Dharwadkar about his views behind the reasons for this delay by the government and the pressure from the masses required to implement the Lokpal Act 2013.
What do you think are the reasons behind the government's failure to implement Lokpal Act 2013 Act?
The BJP government does not seem to be willing to implement the Lokpal Act 2013. What must be understood here is that it is not just the BJP but all major political parties that are not willing to implement this act. BJP and Congress are hand in hand for not implementing the act. Also, no other political party has raised the issue of failure to implement the Lokpal Act 2013 which clearly shows that no one is willing to implement it.
Why do you think all major political parties are not willing to implement the act?
The Lokpal Act 2013 is an anti corruption act of the Indian Parliament. The reasons for political parties not implementing this act are mainly that most might be fearing that the implementation would get them into trouble as most political parties are involved in some sort of corruption or the other.
What do you think needs to be done to ensure that the Lokpal Act 2013 is implemented faster?
When the Lokpal Bill was passed by the Parliament, it had a lot of support from the people. This pressure from people is lacking now. It seems that, presently, people have adjusted to the new modus operandi of corruption. If there is pressure from people then the implementation of this act will be faster. But this pressure is what is lacking now.
Do you feel the government has been making excuses for not implementing the act?
Yes. The statutory post of Lokpal is still vacant and the reasons given by the government were that a Lokpal cannot be appointed due to absence of a leader of opposition in the Parliament. It seems the government is just not willing to implement the act and is giving excuses.
Do you feel agitation by anti corruption crusader Anna Hazare for non-appointment of Lokpal would help?
Agitation by Hazare will surely help draw the attention of the masses towards the Lokpal Act 2013. It might bring the focus back on the act which is the need of the hour.
If the government implements the act, do you feel it would be amended?
Yes. I feel the government might consider implementing the Lokpal Act 2013 just before the elections in 2019. Whenever the government implements the act it will try amending it in a way that it will not overpower them or cause the government any trouble.