New Delhi, Apr 23: Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh today backed Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati's demand for inclusion of a Dalit representative in the Lokpal drafting committee while Justice Santosh Hegde does not seem to find any merit in it.
“The demand is valid,” Singh said when asked about Mayawati's demand.
However Hegde, who is a member of the commitee, said, “if you have to have any caste-wise representation, then this committee can never be constituted.” Asked about the issue, Union Minister Salman Khurshid, a member of the joint committee, said, “we should trust the ten members. Let them present their product...we should give them a chance. After the product comes out, we can see and examine it and put forth our objections if any.”
In Lucknow on Friday, Mayawati virtually demanded resignation of the Bhushans.“The committee should distance itself from those whose integrity is doubted,” she said, without naming anyone in the wake of the CD controversy involving lawyer Shanti Bhushan and property allotments to him.
Shanti Bhushan and his son Prashant are both members of the 10-member committee. Mayawati also demanded inclusion of an “apolitical scheduled caste member” in the committee. “Of the 10 members including those of civil society, there is not member of scheduled caste in the drafting committee. We want the committee to be re-organised and an apolitical scheduled caste member included in it,” she said.
Alleging that Congress forgot to include an SC member in the committee “due to its casteist mentality”, Mayawati said the party has ignored the caste on important occasions.
She said Anna Hazare should have discussed before giving names of drafting committee members. “How could he forget to include the name of an SC member in the committee when Maharashtra, the state to which he belongs, has witnessed a number of social agitations for giving rights to the community?” she asked.
She also said that Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar also belonged to Hazare's state.
Welcoming Hazare's anti-corruption agitation, she said BSP has been fighting corruption and criminalisation and was determined to root them out from the society. “The evil of corruption and criminalisation has become chronic in the state due to previous governments. BSP will root them out but it will take time,” she added. PTI