Chidambaram Terms Anna’s Fast Unjustified, Urges to Call Off

BeyondHeadlines News Desk

New Delhi: Home Minister P Chidambaram has urged Anna Hazare to postpone his programme to sit on hunger strike. Chidambaram said: “Everyone has a right to protest. But the context and circumstance decide whether the protest is legitimate or not. When there was no Lokpal Bill, the protest was justified. But now that there is a bill in Parliament, and the Standing Committee has asked Anna Hazare to testify, the protest, at this stage seems to be unjustified.”

The Lokpal Bill, which was introduced in the Lok Sabha (lower house) on August 4, was sent to the Parliamentary committee for its consideration. But this draft did not include several key suggestions made by Team Anna.

The panel had invited Hazare for the discussion in yet another bid to strike an understanding with civil society activists. The Lokpal bill provides for the establishment of the institution of Lokpal, or ombudsman, to fight corruption in public office.

The proposed bill does not bring under its purview the Prime Minister when he holds office. But once he demits office, he or she can be investigated for any wrongdoing as Prime Minister. It also excludes from the Lokpal’s ambit the judiciary and any action of an MP in Parliament or any Parliamentary committee.

On charges of not providing Jantar Mantar (in New Delhi) as a venue for Team Hazare’s agitation, Chidambaram said, “Anna’s is not a special case. Jantar Mantar cannot be given for long protests, or to one group alone. As there are many other people with causes, the day has to be divided and the group given slots.”

Team Anna has been granted a spot adjacent to the Firoz Shah Kotla Ground to hold its protest from August 16.


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