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Posts Tagged ‘Gandhism

Jan Lokpal Bill: Need serious consideration on Anna’s three conditions, says Pranab

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Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, current F...

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Observing that the nation was at “cross-roads” in view of Anna Hazare’s campaign, government today asked Parliament to consider the Gandhian‘s three key demands on Lokpal Bill within Constitutional framework and by preserving Parliament’s supremacy.

Making identical statements in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to form the basis for a debate, Finance MinisterPranab Mukherjee said the issues raised by Hazare are “important” and “genuine” which “deserve our serious consideration”.

As Hazare’s fast entered 12th day, Mukherjee said the situation was “moving out of hand” and “crisis” had been created as he asked lawmakers to “seize the moment and demonstrate the commitment” in dealing with corruption which is “gnawing at the vitals of our polity”.

He said Parliament needed to discuss (i) whether the jurisdiction of the Lokpal should cover all employees of the Central government, (ii) whether it will be applicable through the institution of the Lok Ayukt in all states, and (iii) whether the Lokpal should have the power to punish all those who violate the ‘grievance redressal mechanism’ to be put in place.

These are the aspects that Hazare and his team are demanding to be included in the Lokpal Bill.

“In case a consensus emerges at the end of the discussions, the Standing Committee will, in the course of their deliberations, take into account their practicability, implementability and constitutionality.

“For, everything that we do, must be consistent with the principles enshrined within our Constitutional framework,” Mukherjee said.

Mukherjee wanted Lok Sabha to consider whether Lokpal should have power to punish those who violate ‘grievance redressal mechanism’.

“The standing committee can take up their practicality, constitutionality and implementability,” Mukherjee said.

In the Rajya Sabha, Pranab said that the issues on which Hazare is agitating are genuine. Mukherjee said situation created by Hazare’s agitation is “moving out of hand” and crisis has been created.

Team Anna and the government held another round of talks here today to end the deadlock over the Lokpal Bill prior to the debate on the issue in Parliament.

Team Anna members Prashant Bhushan and Medha Patkar met Law Minister Salman Khurshid here and discussed issues which the government could take up in Parliament during the debate.

“Only thing that has been discussed is what will come up before Parliament…we have already give Anna’s letter to him,” Patkar told reporters after the meeting.

Noting that dialogue between both sides was on, she said Hazare and his team have not gone back on their three key demands — all civil servants should be brought under Lokpal, a Citizen Charter should be displayed at all government offices and all states should have Lokayuktas.

“We are still on the same three points, which really matters. The government is responding. Now it is not only the government, it is also the opposition parties. All are positive about the process,” she said.

She said every MP is concerned about Anna’s health. The agitation will continue as has been made clear by Anna. There is no question of ending the protest, she added.

Fasting Anna Hazare today broke his silence of nearly 38 hours and addressed his supporters declaring that he will continue his protest till his last breath for a strong anti-corruption law.

Amid mounting worries over the 74-year-old Gandhian’s health, Hazare said he could fast for another “three-four days” and “nothing will happen to him”.

Hazare, who did not address his supporters since 8 pm on August 25, emerged on the dais at around 10 am to a loud cheer from supporters who raised slogans of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Inquilab Zindabad’.

“I am not doing this for my personal gain. If it was so, I would not have lasted five days. Till Jan Lokpal Bill is passed, my protest will continue,” the Gandhian told his supporters at Ramlila Maidan where he is sitting on a fast.

He said he was getting energy from those who are coming out in support of the cause and this energy will help him sustain for three-four more days. “Till Jan Lokpal Bill is passed, I won’t die,” he said in his speech that lasted for five minutes.

Hazare said he was surprised at the manner in which the country has responded to his call while referring to a person who was sporting a tattoo on his shoulder that stated that he was the supporter of the Gandhian.

“I am surprised that a ‘fakir’ is getting this support. It is not me who is doing all this. God has pointed fingers at me. He has chosen me to do the work. It is he who is doing all this. I am praised for what I am doing. A ‘fakir’ should not be praised so much,” he said.

COURTESY: THE ECONOMIC TIMES

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Hazare expands ambit of his crusade

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Anna Hazare’s fast demanding a strong Lokpal to tackle corruption crossed 100 hours in New Delhi on Saturday, with the Gandhian expanding ambit of his fight to include electoral reforms and a farmer-friendly land acquisition law.

As his fast entered the fifth day, his team said they were ready to talk to the government but no such communication channels have been opened so far but insisted the August 30 deadline set by the Gandhian for passing of Jan Lokpal Bill should be met with.

With the government indicating that the deadline could not met with, the Team said it appeared to be an exercise which will waste the time of people and Parliamentarians and demanded that the Jan Lokpal Bill be introduced in Tuesday.

Mr. Hazare, who addressed the gathering at Ramlila Maidan twice in the day, said the funds in government treasuries were being threatened not by thieves but from those guard it and the country is being threatened by these traitors.

“Why should we fight? The funds in government treasuries are ours. The treasuries are not threatened by thieves but by those who guards it. The country is not betrayed by enemies but by these traitors,” the Gandhian said.

He told the gathering the fight will not end with the passage of Lokpal Bill but they have be ready for a longer struggle for electoral reforms as well as ensuring farmers’ right to their land.

“I want to tell the youth of this country that this fight should not be stopped with Lokpal alone. We have fight for removing the faults of the present electoral reforms. Because of the fault in electoral system, 150 criminals have reached Parliament,” Mr. Hazare said.

Mr. Hazare said the country actually did not get “actual freedom” even after 64 years of independence and the only change was that “the whites have been replaced by the blacks“.

“The same loot, same corruption, same rowdyism still exists,” he said.

Touching upon the contentious issue of land acquisition, he said there was a need to fight for a proper law regarding this.

“After the fight for Lokpal, we will also have to fight for farmers’ rights. Bring a law that ensures permission of gram sabhas before acquiring land of farmers,” Mr. Hazare said.

Noting that the chain of corruption should be broken, he said, “Government is giving land to the companies which employs labourers and suck their blood. They tell the labourers you ensure production or else you will lose job.

“Is this democracy? All have come together to make money. The chain of corruption has to be broken,” he said.

Earlier, Mr. Hazare came to the podium at around 10 a.m. as supporters started pouring in Ramlila Maidan where he launched his protest on Friday after coming out of Tihar Jail.

He said he has lost three-and-half kg in the last four days. “I feel a little weak. But there is nothing to worry about it. The fight will go on till we get a strong Lokpal,” Mr. Hazare said in his brief address to the gathering.

Activists Mr. Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia said the Team was ready to talk to the government on the issue of Lokpal Bill but no one has approached them.

“We are ready to talk to the government but there is no communication from their side. Where should we go to talk and whom should we talk to?” Mr. Kejriwal and Mr. Sisodia said.

Mr. Hazare had on Friday raised the political stakes by giving a deadline to the government to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill by August 30 failing which he would continue his fast “till my last breath”.

On the deadline, former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan said the government can pass it within days if it has a “strong will” to do it. “It can happen. I have been a Union Law Minister and I know how things happen in government,” he said.

Mr. Shanti Bhushan indicated that they were open to minor changes in the Jan Lokpal Bill and said an assurance from the government to the Gandhian on his demand will be like showing respect for the public sentiment demanding action against corruption.

Asked whether the deadline was a little impractical, Mr. Kejriwal told reporters, “If the government desires, it can pass 15 Bills in five minutes. But for the anti-corruption Bill, they are taking more than 42 years. So we want to know how many more years will they take?”

The government version encourages corruption and saves the corrupt, Mr. Kejriwal alleged and demanded that the Lokpal Bill introduced in Parliament be “rejected completely” and the Jan Lokpal Bill be replaced by it.

Reacting to newspaper advertisements seeking suggestions from public on Lokpal Bill, Mr. Kejriwal said it appeared to be an exercise which will waste the time of people and Parliamentarians.

“We appeared before the Standing Committee earlier and told them that the present bill is actually for promotion of corruption and save the corrupt people. It ends up in targeting those who complain against corruption,” he said.

Mr. Kejriwal said they had urged the Standing Committee to reject the Bill and send it back to Parliament. “It is wasting precious time on a wrong and faulty Bill,” he said.

“This seeking of feedback is basically to divert attention,” he said.

Asked about some MPs, including the BJP’s Varun Gandhi, planning to introducing Jan Lokpal Bill as private Bills, he said private Bills do not achieve much.

COURTESY : THE HINDU

Full Text: PM’s reply to Anna Hazare’s letter

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Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has written back to Anna Hazare after the activist wrote to the PM expressing his unhappiness over the conditional permission given by the Delhi Police for his August 16 fast over Lokpal Bill. In his letter, Dr Singh has asked Mr Hazare to approach the statutory authorities.

Here’s the full text of the PM’s letter:

I have received your letter, carrying the date 14th August, 2011 and carefully read its contents.

Your grievance that the police has given you permission to protest and go on fast at JP Park only for three days needs to be addressed by the statutory authorities who have taken that decision. My Office does not in any way get involved in the decision making process. The terms and conditions on which you are entitled to carry on with your protest are decided by the statutory authorities concerned taking into account the prevailing circumstances and other relevant factors.

I would request you to address your grievances to the statutory authorities concerned.We are all committed to the Constitution of India and to uphold it both in letter and spirit.

Written by THE LAWFILE

August 14, 2011 at 1:13 am