The anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare has held the intervention by Rahul Gandhi responsible for the exclusion of the lower bureaucracy from the ambit of the Lokpal bill draft. Anna Hazare has accused Mr. Gandhi of meddling with the Parliamentary Committee which has allegedly caused the Committee to reverse its earlier decision to include Group C staff under the ambit of Lokpal. He has admitted that he does not possess any evidence to prove this allegation against Rahul Gandhi but also stated that there cannot be smoke without any fire when asked by the media.
The Supreme Court on Monday sent a notice to anti corruption crusader Anna Hazare seeking response to the public interest litigation filed by lawyer M L Sharma. The petition asked for a CBI investigation to find more on alleged misuse of funds received from the government for rural development as per the report of Justice Sawant Committee in 2005. The bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana P Desai had issued notices to the Centre and Maharashtra government apart from Anna Hazare. Sharma pointed out in his petition that Hind Swaraj Trust, a public trust had been floated by Anna Hazare and his associates in village Ralegan Siddhi in 1995 with a capital of just Rs 500. Even before the trust was registered the centre had contributed Rs 45 lakh towards the trust for 1994-95 followed by Rs 65.85 lakh from the state government for 1995-96. Sharma alleged that this amounted to criminal breach of trust related to public funds and fraud as it is not possible for a trust that was not even formed to spend that much amount within a short span of time. Anna Hazare had received around one crore rupees from Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology in the name of rural help. The level of consumption of these funds received from the consolidated fund of India, could be revealed only after an investigation.
The Government on Sunday has agreed to make the audio recordings of JanLokpal drafting committee meetings available to public. With this move the debate between the government and Anna Hazare’s team will be out in the public domain after a month the parliament finally decided to enact an effective Lokpal. This will bring transparency and restore people’s faith in the government. However sources say that only selective portion of committee proceedings will be exhibited. Elements not encroaching on the jurisdiction or working of the Parliamentary Standing Committee presently analyzing the bill will be made available whereas nothing that will embarrass the government will be made public.
Though one can say that Anna Hazare has been the catalyst for a government who is usually very slow at introducing and shaping bills, it now seems that things are getting out of control. The 74 year old Gandhian was detained at his home and later arrested to prevent his fast to the death for a strong anti-corruption Lokpal bill.
Social activist Anna Hazare on Thursday said he was not afraid of death and said the government to fire bullets in the event of his going on fast to presss for a strong Lokpal Bill.
Team Anna on Wednesday accused the Union government of indulging in a misinformation campaign and playing a hoax on people in the name of the Lokpal Bill. It also appealed to MPs to first interact with their constituencies and then exercise their legislative duties as parliamentarians in enacting the proposed historic law against corruption.