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Vidya Subrahmaniam, The Hindu / NEW DELHI, August 20, 2011.
NAC member has said that Team Anna should take their version of the Lokpal Bill to the Standing Committee. File photo - The Hindu.
The National Campaign for People's Right to Information (NCPRI) said on Saturday that while it fully backed anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and his team on their right to agitate for a Jan Lokpal Bill, it had strong reservations over the methods adopted by the group and disagreed with the provisions of their Bill.
The NCPRI objected in particular to the ultimatums flowing from Ramlila Maidan — where Mr. Hazare is fasting against a backdrop of surging, stampeding crowds — asking the government to introduce the Jan Lokpal Bill by Tuesday and get it passed immediately with the majority at its command.
The NCPRI, whose members Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey, Harsh Mander and Shekhar Singh, addressed a press conference along with the former Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, A.P. Shah, said the Anna group was being intolerant by asking for their version of the Bill to be passed immediately and without any discussion. “Nobody has the right to say we alone are right. Democracy is about recognising and allowing multiple and diverse views,” said Mr. Mander.
Mr. Singh described as dangerous a reported comment by Hazare group member Shanti Bhushan that the government would be allowed no leeway in finalising the Jan Lokpal draft, and if at all it wanted any amendments, it would first need to clear them with Mr. Hazare.
The NCPRI presented its own anti-corruption alternative comprising a basket of measures at the press conference.
Mr. Dey said the NCPRI had held meetings with major political parties on these measures and would soon place them before the parliamentary Standing Committee now considering the government's Lokpal Bill.
The meet drew to a noisy close with sections of the press suggesting that Ms. Roy and others had no support from the people as opposed to Anna, who had created a powerful janmat (mass opinion). A volley of questions was lobbed at the members, many of them openly hostile and confrontationist. “My last name is Kejriwal and that is why you are not taking my question,” complained a journalist. The reference was clearly to Anna aide Arvind Kejriwal.
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