Hazare-led activists react sharply to Pranab's remarks

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Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee
New Delhi, Jun 14: Anna Hazare-led activists on Monday, June 13 reacted sharply Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for accusing the civil society of trying to undermine democracy and said his statement betrayed a "distorted understanding of democracy and arrogance of power".

The activists said Mukherjee's remarks show a "mistaken understanding" that the people have no role to play in governance and law-making once they have elected their representatives and they have formed a government.

"On January 26, 1950, rickshaw wallas, labourers and poor people became the masters of this country. The Prime Minister and Mukherjee are their servants. It is with the tax paid by them that Mukherjee travels in red-beacon car and runs the air conditioner in his office," activist Arvind Kejriwal told reporters.

Mukherjeee had attacked Hazare and Ramdev accusing the civil society of working to undermine democracy backed by BJP which was using "unconstitutional" methods in the anti-corruption movement.

Kejriwal said the government cannot be a "dictator" for five years on the ground they were elected. "They think that the ruling party is important and no one else. It has become a dictator."

Asked why they were not pulling out of the Lokpal Bill joint drafting commitee as there was so much of mistrust, Kejriwal said they have to work with this. "At least, we can put on record our dissent note," he said.

Taking on Mukherjee for his comments against the civil society that it will become a circus if the committee proceedings are teleivised, lawyer Prashant Bhushan hit back by pointing out that parliamentary proceedings are also telecast.

PTI

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