New Delhi: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday managed to secure the crucial backing of Anna Hazare to the Delhi Lokpal Bill 2015 amidst attacks from Swaraj Abhiyan-led by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan. However, the veteran social activist suggested the fledgeling party to make some changes in the bill, chiefly in appointment and removal of the ombudsman.
Thanking Hazare for supporting the Delhi Lokpal Bill 2015, AAP supremo and Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said that he will “surely” implement the changes proposed by the former.
“Annaji, thank you for your support and blessings. We will surely implement your suggestions,” Kejriwal tweeted.
अन्ना जी, आपके सपोर्ट और आशीर्वाद के लिए शुक्रिया। आपके सुझावों को हम ज़रूर लागू करेंगे https://t.co/85gdAC6Ur6
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) December 1, 2015
The AAP government on Monday, after tabling the Bill, defended the proposed four-member selection committee — comprising Chief Minister, Leader of Opposition, Delhi High Court Chief Justice and Speaker — as one that is independent.
While welcoming the Bill, Anna has suggested that the Lokpal selection panel should be of seven members, with two high court judges and one eminent person. Impeachment proceedings for removal should begin only after a Supreme Court go-ahead, he said.
AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh met Anna at Ralegan Siddhi on Tuesday to seek his support on the issue. Anna assured them that he would step in if the NDA government at the Centre put obstructions in the way of Jan Lokpal Bill, especially over the contentious clause which brings Union government functionaries under its ambit.
“You go ahead, I will see if these provisions are opposed. They should not be opposed. It will be sad if obstacles are put on the way of a potentially good Lokpal. Centre has no intention for a corruption-free India,” Anna said.
The Bill tabled by the Delhi government has come under severe scrutiny by AAP founding members like Prashant Bhushan, Shanti Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav. Swaraj Abhiyan has even threatened to launch an agitation if the present bill is passed in its current form.
Prashant Bhushan, who reportedly has a copy of the Delhi Lokpal Bill 2015, in a statement, said that the selection committee for the Lokpal would consist of High Court Chief Justice, the Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and Leader of Opposition.
He alleged that this clause made it clear that the AAP government wanted the appointment of Lokpal to be controlled by the political class and would not let any appointment be made without the approval of ruling party.
In regard to removal of Lokpal, Bhushan said in the Jan Lokpal bill introduced by Delhi government, as per the provisions mentioned in section 6(1) of the proposed bill, the Lokpal can be removed by a motion passed by the Delhi assembly by a 2/3rd majority of the members present and voting in the assembly.
“Needless to say, if the act sees the light of the day, the Lokpal will be completely at the mercy of AAP government,” Bhushan alleged.
(With inputs from agencies)
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