The Saltlist

Satire in the Age of Letters and Technology- more than just a pinch of it.

Lokpal Bill: Back To Square One?

By Neha Sen

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh described the inclusion of both Government representatives and civil society members in the Lokpal Bill Joint Drafting Committee as “a step that augurs well for society”. However, disagreements between the two groups has jeopardized the future of the Lokpal Bill. Ironically, one of the contentious issues is the suggestion to bring the PM’s office under the ambit of the Lokpal.

Describing the May 30 meeting as a “complete disaster”, committee member and activist Arvind  Kejriwal reiterated that civil society members will walk out if there is no “forward movement”. The two  sides sparred on several issues, including the suggestion to bring the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO),  judiciary and officials below rank of joint secretary under the Lokpal’s ambit. The Anna Hazare team  also wants the Lokpal to have powers to look into the conduct of MPs in Parliament.

Even though it seems that the Government is willing to risk a  split in the Joint Drafting Committee, it is leaving no stone  unturned to stop Yoga guru Baba Ramdev from going on a  hunger strike from 4th June on the issue of black money. The  Government has been regularly briefing Ramdev on the  measures adopted by it to bring back money stashed abroad.  However, the yoga guru plans to continue with his “satyagraha”  against corruption and black money. Baba Ramdev, though, is on the side of the Government on the issue of exclusion of the PMO and CJI from the Lokpal’s ambit.

Meanwhile, the Centre has sought the views of the political parties and states on the structure of the proposed Lokpal Bill.

So mark June 4 and June 6 in the calendar. Will the Government have to deal with another mass movement against corruption when Baba Ramdev goes on a hunger strike on 4th June? Or will the Centre be able to stop the yoga guru from going on the hunger strike? And will there be any “forward movement” when the Joint Drafting Committee meets on June 6?

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4 comments on “Lokpal Bill: Back To Square One?

  1. Deepasha
    June 3, 2011

    see i get u displayed the civil society ‘ s perspective here , and thats what i see all the newspapers doing, what about the politicians perspective ?? , and um looking at the fact PMO ‘s office is in fact the highest office , and secondly almost every 1 in india and not just politicians and police men readily give and take bribe -ie there is a culture of corruption in our country , and puting these two together , along with the fact that there is no accountability or transparency or democratic representation in the lok pal body ( acc to preliminary draft ) then isnt it like opening doors to further corruption ?? and also al i see is ppl focusing on contentions , and not the actual content of the bill , enlighten me ?

    • Neha Sen
      June 3, 2011

      Hi Deepasha , thanks for your feedback. Appreciate it. 🙂 I have focused on the contentious issues as they may lead to a breakdown in talks between the two sides. I agree that there is no democratic representation in the committee but it was the Hazare camp which led the movement and so they are in the panel. Also, the draft bills have been made available by the Dept. of Personnel and Training on their website (www.persmin.nic.in) and the public can provide feedback on the same.

  2. Abhishek Sen
    June 3, 2011

    I support u………………..and i work with u…

  3. Rajiv Tyagi
    June 21, 2011

    Ramdev is a hyena in saffron clothing. For any political grouping to support him, for the ‘block votes’ his followers represent, is a phantasm that will result in breeding another Bhindranwale! Never allow men of the cloth to dabble in politics – their ilk has only caused bloodshed and sorrow through human history… It is also, not the tradition in Hinduism, to allow men of the cloth to venture into secular matters outside the walls of the ashram/mandir – the Hindu tradition looks askance at a man of the cloth being given residence in one’s home… The drama in Ramlila Maidan should serve as a warning shot across the bows of our ship… Beware!

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This entry was posted on June 2, 2011 by in National and tagged , , , .

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