People are supreme, not anybody else: Santosh Hegde

Santosh Hegde
Bangalore, Aug 19: Government can ill-afford to ignore popular sentiment for Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign as otherwise it may have to pay a "heavy price", Santosh Hegde, Lokpal Bill drafting committee member, today (Aug 19) said.

He said any sensible government should pay heed to the "feelings" of the people.

"Otherwise, just see what happened after the Emergency in 1977. A certain government in power may loose power", he told PTI while flaying the Government's flip-flop on the detention of Hazare.

On Prime Minister's statement that Parliament alone can make laws, the former Supreme Court judge, who till recently served as Karnataka Lokayukta, said it's supreme to the extent that legislations can be passed by majority in the House.

"And the Prime Minister saying law can't be made in maidan-law cannot be made through satyagraha....they are misleading the people. We are not making the law. We are (only) giving suggestions", Hegde said.

He said the Government has to understand that Hazare's campaign has no personal agenda; it's all in the public interest.

He said the Government should have also sent "our bill" (Jan Lokpal) to the Standing Committee of Parliament, in addition to the version cleared by the Cabinet. 

The government, Hegde said, has got to gauge the feelings of the people. "People are fed up with corruption. When they count the zeros (crores of money by corrupt means) scams... it's phenomenal. Hegde said had India "really, practically and genuinely" used the money made by corrupt means, it would have become the top-most economic power in the world.

Asked if the nation-wide campaign is "going beyond corruption" and that people are giving vent to their anger to all kinds of issues, he said; "It happens. If you allow protest to go on, then it goes beyond the original object. Therefore, the government should take note of it".

Hegde said the protests and the mood in the country is reminiscent of Emergency days and he is overwhelmed by the public support for Hazare's campaign.

It's also for the first time that he is "coming to a public platform", said Hegde, who was a prominent face in the Freedom Park here, the hub of Hazare supporters who are staging a dharna since August 16.

Asked if there is a possibility of protests in different parts of the country spiraling out of control, Hegde said: "As of now, it's only in the form of slogans. I hope it remains so. It might go beyond it. It's not impossible. It will burst out someday".


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