Ranchi, June 24: Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal today said Gandhian leader Anna Hazare was seeking to create a ‘parallel government' through a Jan Lokpal bill without accountability, flouting the basic structure of the Constitution.
“Anna asks for prosecution powers without accountability for the Lokpal, which means he wants a parallel government. Did our framers of the Constitution ever think of such a situation arising now?” Sibal told a press conference here. Sibal said Anna wanted the Lokpal to have the power to tap any one without permission, which again meant an authority unto itself. “It flouts the Indian Telegraph Authority. Is it a military institution? Are we out to make a police state?” “The government is accountable to Parliament and any MP can ask for explanation on Jan Lokpal bill. Any one can move the Supreme Court. These are the constitutional issues before the nation,” Sibal said apparently referring to the civil society's demand for inclusion of the Prime Minister's Office and the Judiciary into its ambit.
Alleging that the BJP was not telling them about the constitutional structure and its importance to make democracy moving smoothly, Sibal accused the BJP and the RSS of deliberately creating a chaotic situation in the country by playing politics around the bill.
He claimed that the BJP was doing all this intentionally because it knew it would ‘not come to power for the next ten years' after the drubbing it received during the recent Assembly elections.
Therefore they have put (yoga guru) Ramdev upfront to create such a situation,” Sibal claimed pointing out the fact that Congress had contested 356 out of 824 seats and won 171 while the BJP had contested 400 seats and won only 5 seats.
“BJP leaders are disrupting Parliament, shying away from debate, but want action. Is this democratic by not coming to the forefront and debate on national issues, and going to Haridwar to touch Ramdev's feet?” he alleged. Sibal said the BJP and its supporters should know that corruption was not confined to any one political party. “Corruption is a challenge before the nation and should be fought in unison. People know that corruption is there and we are committed to curb it,” he said.
He said Congress's commitment to root out corruption had been proved by sitting minister (A Raja's) stint in jail and the government leaving it to the Supreme Court to deal with the corruption issues legally.
In contrast, Sibal pointed out, BJP leader L K Advani did not do anything as the deputy prime minister when ‘BJP president (Bangaru Laxman) was caught on camera with cash and defence deals involving ex-defence minister George Fernandes'.
“The Congress was not in power between 1996 and 2004 when the scandals broke,” the minister pointed out. “Why did not Advani raise the issue then, but embraced George within four months (of his resignation)?” What action did he take against those corruption issues? And what about Judeo cash-on-camera episode?” asked Sibal.
Sibal sought to know from Advani why the BJP failed to bring an ombudsman during its tenure. PTI