Politicians must stop opposing the Lokpal Bill: NAPM and LRM

[हिंदी] The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) UP and Lok Rajniti Manch (LRM) have issued a statement demanding that the politicians must stop opposing the Lokpal Bill which will check corruption, increase accountability in governance, and can change the character of politics in India. "Since the day decision was taken to form a committee for drafting the Lokpal bill, its civil society members are under attack from some quarters. On the face of it they are politicians but strong business-bureaucrat lobby could be fully supporting it from behind the scenes" said Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Awardee and member, national presidium, Lok Rajniti Manch.

"First Kapil Sibal ridiculed the proposed bill saying how could a 'Lokpal Act' ensure education to every child and potable drinking water to every citizen in India. Now, Sibal must be asked that as MHRD minister wasn't it his responsibility to ensure education to every child in India? He did get the Right to Education Act implemented but cheated the people, especially the poor, by keeping the notion of Common School System out of RTE. Without the common school system, i.e., every child going to the same kind of school system, RTE doesn't have much meaning" said Dr Sandeep Pandey, who is also the national convener of NAPM.

"Digvijay Singh wanted the expenses of Anna Hazare's fast to be investigated into. Does he consider it more serious and urgent an issue than investigation into the 2G Spectrum, Commonwealth Games or Adarsh Society scams? In any case Arvind Kejriwal's team has made the income-expenditure details of the “India Against Corruption” campaign public. Moreover, all the civil society members of drafting committee for Lokpal Bill have made their assets public. The politicians, on the other hand, survive on corruption. It would be difficult to find a M.P., belonging to any Party, who would have won his/her election by spending less than Rs. 25 lakhs, the limit prescribed by Election Commission. The Lokpal bill is precisely to check corruption which sustains our political system" said Dr Sandeep Pandey.

"The CD produced by Amar Singh is mischievous. It is unimaginable that Prashant and Shanti Bhushan who have alleged that more than half of the past 15 Supreme Court Chief Justices have been corrupt would have tried to influence any of its Judges. Amar Singh is a politician who has lost relevance today. He has during his political life not taken up a single cause affecting common people, whereas Prashant and Shanti Bhushan have taken up many cases of public interest without accepting any fees. The fact the Amar Singh is behind this CD controversy is enough not to take it seriously" said Dr Sandeep Pandey.

"Digvijaya Singh has also taken a swipe at Justice Santosh Hegde, saying that he has not been an effective Lokayukta in Karnataka. He also said that if Anna Hazare takes up a campaign against the corruption of Mayawati government in UP, his Party would support him wholeheartedly. It appears that Digvijaya Singh wants action against everybody else and wants to test everybody's integrity except those in his own Party" said Dr Sandeep Pandey.

"Manmohan Singh has preached the bureaucrats that they should ostracise their corrupt colleagues. He could have used the same advice for himself. If he had shunned his corrupt ministerial and Party colleagues, some of them still occupying high offices, things would not have come to such a pass" said Dr Pandey.

"The politicians all feel very uncomfortable with the idea of a strong Lokpal as suggested by the civil society. We must realise that it hits them at their most vulnerable point. Tomorrow if a strong Lokpal Act, as envisaged by civil society, comes into effect, it would become impossible for the gentlemen like those mentioned above to survive in politics. This is the reason for panic among their flock. Hence they and the corporate-bureaucratic power behind them are making every attempt to scuttle the process of drafting of Lokpal bill" said Dr Pandey.

"The Lokpal Act will not only check corruption but it will also change the character of politics in India. We'll see more down to earth politicians, as opposed to the moneyed ones, who'll lead their lives within the means available to them and also conduct their politics in a transparent and accountable manner, enter our legislatures. They will not be as pliable and neither influencable. This is what bothers the corporate-bureaucratic lobby and their political cronies" explained Dr Pandey.

The statement issued jointly by the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) UP and Lok Rajniti Manch was signed by Alok Agarwal, JP Singh (NAPM UP Spokesperson), Madhuresh Kumar, Sandeep Pandey, Arundhati Dhuru, SR Darapuri, Ajit Jha, Gautam Bandopadhyay, Kavita Srivastava, R Sunilam, Jayashankar Pandey, Keshav Chand, Arvind Murti, Mahesh Pandey, Nandlal master, Manesh Gupta, Rajeev Yadav, Shahnawaz Alam, advocate Ravi Kiran Jain, advocate Mohammad Shoaib among others.