Click Here to Subscribe For FREE SMS Alerts on Disaster Awareness

Refresher Training of CERT by FOCUS

Friday, August 19, 2011

Anna Hazare Rides Wrath Yatra, Ups Ante Sets 3-Wk Deadline For His Bill To Pass

Himanshi Dhawan TNN 

New Delhi: Emboldened by the swelling crowds at Ramlila Maidan, Gandhian anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare upped the ante within hours of emerging from Tihar Jail on Friday. He set a three-week deadline for Parliament to pass the Jan Lokpal bill, pending which he wouldn't budge from the grounds. This was not only contrary to his group's commitment to vacate the protest site by August 31, but was also seen to be brushing aside parliamentary processes as no such deadline is set for standing committees to study draft legislations in detail. 
    The ultimatum marks a hardening of stand which could queer the pitch for negotiations and a settlement to the dramatic face-off. While Team Anna has insisted on the Lokpal bill being passed in the monsoon session ending September 8, it had refrained from setting adeadline for the passage of its version of the bill, maintaining that it respected Parliament and would abide by its decision. 

    Anna also gave a call for a jail-bharo campaign if the deadline was not met. Although his associate Prashant Bhushan said they were open to negotiations with the government, the ultimatum narrows the scope of a settlement. 
    Taking by surprise by the groundswell of support for Anna, government leaders seemed inclined to wait out the Gandhian's protest, reckoning that it would be difficult for his team to sustain this level of popular support. 

On Friday, The Times of India suggested 10 steps to reduce corruption. We also asked a few eminent Indians for three solutions each. Business leaders, top bureaucrats, lawyers and doctors, among others, gave a range of suggestions that included electoral reforms, enforcement of laws, limiting political patronage, improving salaries and removing middlemenPublic, not Parliament, is supreme: Kejriwal ddressing the media at Ramlila Maidan, the 74-year-old Anna said: "I have made the decision of my life. It is up to the government to pass the (Jan Lokpal) bill. If it is not passed in this session, I will continue my fast till my last breath." The pledge drew huge applause from his growing band of supporters. His aide Arvind Kejriwal brazenly declared the group's lack of faith in parliamentary democracy. 
    "Parliament is not supreme, the public is," he said. "It's our right to raise our voice against corruption and the elected representatives must hear it." Asked if the 3-week deadline was not impractical, Anna shot back that it 
was government's headache. "They have the majority in Parliament and it is up to them to see how they get the bill passed," he said. 
    There is, however, a view that two private member's bills—introduced by BJP's Varun Feroze Gandhi in Lok Sabha and independent member Rajiv Chandrashekhar in Rajya Sabha—can offer a way out. Varun plans to move the Jan Lokpal Bill as his bill, while Chandrashekhar's bill has incorporated features of civil society's version of the legislation. In its Thursday (August 18) edition, TOI had suggested, as one of three possible solutions, that Parliament be allowed to consider both the government's version of the bill and the Jan Lokpal Bill. 

    Since the civil society's grouse is that Parliament won't get to debate the merits of their bill, the two private member's bills can give the two Houses an opportunity to assess the merits of the two rival pieces of legislation, potentially clearing the way for a resolution. However, procedures and conventions may come in the way. A private member's bill can be introduced in the House only after a month's notice. 
    Prashant Bhushan told the media: "We are not afraid of discussions. If somebody from the government wants to discuss, we have no problems. But we are not ready to compromise on corruption." Kejriwal added that nobody from the government has approached them so far for discussions.

MARCHING ON: Anna Hazare on his way to Ramlila Maidan after his release from Tihar Jail on Friday


Popular Posts

Slide Presentation


Enter a Youtube URL to download:

Powered by KeepHD.com
Custom Search

Daily Green News


blogger templates | Make Money Online