Wrong to hijack democratic institutions

Aruna Roy, member of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council, Saturday hit out at the ongoing protest by Team Anna and said no one should be allowed to hijack democratic institutions.

Addressing media persons at the Press Club here, Roy said social activist Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast to get the civil society’s version of the Lokpal Bill passed was wrong. She said Hazare was “ill advised and it is wrong to undermine democratic institutions”.

Roy also said a version of the Lokpal bill drafted by the National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) of which she is a member, would be presented to the parliament’s standing committee.

“We will present our views before the standing committee. We hope the consultations will result in a good Lokpal Bill,” said Roy.

Her comments came as the standing committee published advertisements in newspapers Saturday seeking public opinion on the government’s draft Lokpal Bill presented in parliament.

Roy also said the office of the prime minister should come under the Lokpal.

“We believe the prime minister’s office should come under the Lokpal Bill. We have suggested some safeguards for this in our version of the bill,” said Roy.

Stating that widespread consultations were required before the anti-graft law takes shape, Roy said the NAC had involved Anna supporters Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal in its consultations on the draft Lokpal Bill.

The NAC dropped further consultation process on a draft Lokpal Bill after a 10-member civil society-government team was formed to draft an anti-graft bill following a hunger strike by Hazare in April.

Her associate Nikhil Dey said the government Lokpal Bill deals with only an ombudsman at the centre and it should also appoint Lokayuktas at the state level and have a separate mechanism for grievance redressal. (IANS)