Kolkata, Aug 23: Taking strong exception to Anna Hazare's movement against corruption, former Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee today said the Gandhian's method of “putting pressure” on the government for a strong Lokpal was “anti-democratic to the core”.
“A kind of fanaticism is sought to be created around the movement and I find that little boys too are on the scene. The way of Anna Hazare's movement is anti-democratic to the core,” Chatterjee told PTI here.
He said he had believed in parliamentary democracy for many decades and “I am of the opinion that there is no alternative to this system of democracy”.
Asked to comment on the civil society's form of Jan Lokpal bill, he said, “I don't know what the content there is, but it is likely to destabilise the parliamentary set-up.”
Referring to Hazare's demand for bringing the prime minister under the bill's ambit, Chatterjee said, “If a complaint is brought against the prime minister, the entire Opposition will clamour for his resignation.
“In such a scenario if the prime minister resigns, the government will fall. Will the Opposition then run the government? Who will run the system?”
He also criticised the latest move by Hazare supporters to gherao MPs residences to “extract” their support.
Asked about the prime minister's assurance to Hazare that the government would ask Lok Sabha Speaker if his version of the Lokpal Bill could be sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee, Chatterjee said since the prime minister had respect for the Speaker, he had preferred to route the same through her.
The government could have directly sent it to the committee chairman, he said.
“It (corruption) is not a ready made thing. There are provisions of fighting corruption like Prevention of Corruption Act, IPC and many other laws. Despite these laws, corruption is still thriving in a country of 120 crore population,” Chatterjee said. PTI