Thursday, February 22, 2024

Govt, civil society at loggerheads


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Lokpal bill

New Delhi: The slugfest over Lokpal bill intensified on Monday with the civil society led by Anna Hazare slamming the Government asking why an “honest” prime minister was scared of coming under its ambit and calling the move to keep him out as “retrograde”.

The Congress responded with equal vigour dubbing Hazare as an “unelected dictator” who is reading the script of forces attempting to destabilise the country.

Amid the escalating war of words, Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh made a u-turn on his statement that the prime minister be brought under the purview of the anti-corruption ombudsman by saying he will now go with the party and the government on the issue.

A day after Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee lashed out at Hazare and yoga guru Ramdev calling their methods unconstitutional that undermined democracy, the activists attacked him saying his statement betrayed a “distorted understanding of democracy and arrogance of power”.

The Hazare camp also shot off a letter to the prime minister alleging that the government appeared to be shrinking the scope of the anti-corruption regime.

The non-inclusion of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal would be a “retrograde” step, the letter said two days ahead of the next meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal bill.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari in hard hitting remarks said, “The greatest danger to the democracy is from the unelected dictator….If democracy faces its biggest peril, it is from the tyranny of the unelected and tyranny of the unelectible”. He however did not name anyone.

Hazare accused the office bearers of Congress and Union Ministers of intentionally “defaming” the Lokpal movement. (PTI)


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