Govt slams Team Anna for burning copies of Lokpal Bill

Team Anna burning the copies of Lokpal Bill
New Delhi, Aug 4: Government Thursday, Aug 4 slammed Team Anna for burning copies of the Lokpal Bill introduced in the Lok Sabha, saying people indulging in such acts should come clean on their faith in Parliamentary democracy.

"You should ask them (Team Anna) about this as the Lokpal Bill is now the property of Parliament. They claim that they have full faith in Parliament," Law Minister Salman Khurshid said.

"Those who express faith in Parliament are themselves burning the copy of the Bill. You should ask them what kind of belief is this," he said.

As BJP raised objection on exclusion of the office of the Prime Minister from the ambit of the Lokpal, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal turned the tables saying the NDA, which brought the PM under the Lokpal, should have passed the legislation when it was in power.

"I am pained at Sushma Swaraj's objection to the Lokpal Bill. When NDA was in power in 2002, a draft Lokpal Bill was prepared where the Prime Minister was included in its ambit. The NDA government went on till 2004 but did not pass the Bill in Parliament," he said.

Sibal accused the Opposition of playing politics by raising objections on the Lokpal Bill.

"They are openly playing politics. The politics is clearly visible in the objections to the Lokpal Bill," Sibal told reporters when asked about Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj's objection to exclusion of the Prime Minister from the ambit of the Lokpal.

Asked why the Prime Minister was excluded from the Lokpal's reach when the Bill was discussed at the Joint Drafting Committee (JDC), Khurshid said: "A lot of things were discussed initially and a lot of things were not included in the draft bill.

"We presented a draft bill to Parliament, whatever we thought was right, and it is now the property of Parliament."

On BJP''s objections on exclusion of the Prime Minister from the Lokpal's ambit, Sibal wanted to know why there was no Lokayukta in party-ruled Gujarat.

"We want to ask why (there is) no Lokayukta in Gujarat? Many names have been proposed, the Chief Minister has not agreed. If their argument is genuine and has some basis, they should prove to the public that wherever there is a BJP government, they should bring a proper Lokayukta law and bring Chief Ministers under their purview. When they do so, then we will hold their objections valid," Sibal said.


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