Mumbai: As the Civil Society members led by him reached out to political parties and met BJP leader LK Advani, Anna Hazare on Friday rejected criticism that he was seeking to create a "parallel government" through a Jan Lokpal without accountability. (Agencies)
Earlier in the day, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said in Ranchi that Hazare was seeking to create a "parallel government" through Jan Lokpal bill "without accountability" and flouting the basic structure of the Constitution.
Having kept political leaders at arm’s length during the stir over a strong anti-corruption watchdog, Hazare said the Civil Society would elicit views of all parties on the twin drafts prepared by them and the government representatives and discuss how to stamp out corruption.
"We will ask them (political parties) to study the two drafts and let us know if they find anything that is against Constitution in our draft. We would like to know if our draft is an attempt at forming a parallel government," the Gandhian said.
"We will meet and tell them to decide after reading the draft, so that no one says that they were not shown the draft," he said.
"Civil Society members, including myself, will meet chiefs and leaders of various parties and will also tour some states. I am at my village for a couple of days in connection with court work," Hazare said.
Maintaining that he was always open to discussions to remove the hurdles in the draft bill, Hazare said," We are demanding that the same level of autonomy given to the Election Commission and Information Commissioner be given to Lokpal, who should be given powers of inquiry. What stops you from empowering Lokpal with powers of investigation."
Earlier, the Anna Hazare team including Kiran Bedi, Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia briefed Advani in Delhi about the deliberations in the joint draft committee meetings
on the Bill.
"The meeting was very encouraging. Advani told us that the country needs an effective Lokpal. He heard us and requested us to make a detailed presentation before senior BJP
leaders," Bedi said after the meeting.
Today's meeting was the first in the series of such confabulations planned by the civil society to mobilize support for their version of the Lokpal Bill.
In Ranchi, Sibal said that Anna wanted the Lokpal to have the power to tap any one without permission, which again meant an authority unto itself.
"It flouts the Indian Telegraph Authority. Is it a military institution? Are we out to make a police state," he asked.
"Anna asks for prosecution powers sans accountability for the Lokpal, which means he wants a parallel government. Did our framers of the Constitution ever think of such a
situation arising now?" Sibal told reporters.
Mumbai: As the Civil Society members led by him reached out to political parties and met BJP leader LK Advani, Anna Hazare on Friday rejected criticism that he was seeking to create a "parallel government" through a Jan Lokpal without accountability.