Through its reckless and senseless detention of Anna Hazare and team, the Union Government squandered away a precious opportunity to build a national consensus on creating an effective mechanism to curb corruption, said Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan here on Tuesday.
In a statement, Dr.JP said there could be honest and legitimate differences of opinion and approach to the creation of Lokpal, Lokayukta, and ombudsmen institutions between the Government and civil society. Some of the demands of the civil society on the Lokpal institution may be far-fetched.
In such a situation, the Government is obliged to exercise patience and restraint, explain its viewpoint, and convince the public. Instead, Dr. JP, said the Government has resorted to the heinous practice of levelling corruption allegations against Anna Hazare and others fighting against corruption. “The Government’s conduct is improper, immoral, immature, and counterproductive. If there is any substance in the allegations it is making now, why has it not acted earlier,” asked Dr. JP. Instead of strengthening constitutional processes, the Government by its vindictive attitude is alienating people.
Dr. JP said that the Lokpal Bill has now become Parliament’s property and the civil society should recognize that Parliament is an institution elected by people. It is time that all sections including the Government, political parties, civil society, and media mount concerted and authentic efforts to curb corruption.
Dr. JP regretted that the public debate on the Lokpal Bill has ignored corruption at the State and local Government levels. The Lok Satta Party has consistently been advocating the creation of strong and independent Lokayuktas and ombudsmen at State and district levels along with Lokpal at the national level. The Government should strengthen investigating agencies like the CBI and the ACB and insulate them from political interference by bringing them under the protective umbrella of the Lokpal and Lokayukta.
The need of the hour is mature negotiations and arriving at a consensus, said Dr. JP and added there is no place for inflexible views in public debate. He appealed to all sections of society to protest peacefully against the detention of Anna Hazare and others without disrupting people’s normal life.
Dr. JP said that the Lok Satta Party is drawing up an action plan to canalize people’s indignation and energy and realize their dream for strong anti-corruption mechanisms.
Mr. DVVS Varma, Working President of Lok Satta Party said that the Party would organize Mass Dharnas throughout the State on August 17 and Demonstrations in association with others on August 18 to protest against the arrest of Anna Hazare and his team.