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Swaraj Abhiyan to launch agitation against ‘mahajokepal’

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New Delhi: Calling upon the people to raise their voice against the “toothless” Delhi Lokpal Bill 2015 introduced by the AAP government, the Yogendra Yadav-led Swaraj Abhiyan has decided to launch an agitation if the Bill is passed in its current form.

Yadav called upon one and all to join him and Prashant Bhushan on Tuesday at Vidhan Sabha Metro Station Gate 3 in New Delhi at 5.00 pm for a candle march protest, urging them to raise their voice for the Bill they fought for at the Ramlila Maidan.

ALSO READ: Five reasons why AAP Lokpal is Mahajokepal

Having termed ruling AAP’s 2015 ombudsman bill “mahajokepal”, the Swaraj Abhiyan has challenged Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to a public debate on the Jan Lokpal Bill.

“Swaraj Abhiyan challenges the Delhi chief minister for an open debate with Prashant Bhushan on their Jan Lokpal Bill,” Swaraj Abhiyan, founded by former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav, said in a statement on Sunday.

“We hope that Arvind Kejriwal stops misguiding the common people through lies and false propaganda and accepts the challenge for a healthy debate in the interest of transparency and common people of Delhi,” it added.

Earlier on Sunday, Bhushan, the ousted AAP leader, told reporters, “We were shocked to find that the present Bill is against every principle on the basis of which the anti-corruption movement fought for the institution of Janlokpal. It proposes a Lokpal that is to be completely controlled by the government.”

Bhushan on Saturday had termed ruling AAP’s 2015 ombudsman Bill as “mahajokepal”.

The party is claiming the Bill is identical to the draft, prepared during the Anna Hazare movement, and the 2014 Bill that it had tried to introduce in the Delhi Assembly.

Bhushan released a comparative study of the several Lokpal Bills and Acts, including the Delhi Janlokpal Bill 2014, Uttarakhand Lokayukta Bill, Centre’s Lokpal Act and Team Anna’s Janlokpal draft.

“If you (Kejriwal) have actually copied from Janlokpal Bill 2014 or Uttarakhand Bill, then what took you so long? Why did Arvind keep on tweeting that he is drafting the Bill?” Bhushan asked.

Bhushan, however, acknowledged that he should avoided using harsh words against the party’s spokesperson Raghav Chadha during a TV debate over the issue.

Reacting to the allegations by Bhushan, AAP spokesperson Ashutosh tweeted, “Modi has not appointed LOKPAL for last 18 months but Prashant, Yogendra, Shanti did not have time to criticise/protest till date. Why?”

“AAP brings LOKPAL PB,YY,SB decide to stage a protest? Why? Double standard? Do you need more proof of collaboration between them-BJP,” Ashutosh said in a series of tweets.

(With inputs from IANS)

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The United States Of America Drops Out Of Top 20 Corrupt Countries

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom.

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U.S. President Donald Trump is seen through his transparent teleprompter as he speaks during the Missile Defense Review announcement at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, U.S., January 17, 2019. VOA

A global anti-corruption watchdog says the United States has dropped four spots in its list of nations’ anti-corruption efforts and is now no longer listed in the top 20 for the first time.

Acting U.S. Representative at Transparency International, Zoe Reiter, calls a four point drop in the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) a “red flag.”

She says it comes at a time when the U.S. is experiencing “threats to its system of checks and balances” and an “erosion of ethical norms at the highest levels of power.”

USA. government
Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over U.S. immigration policy, with U.S. President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico., VOA

“If this trend continues, it would indicate a serious corruption problem in a country that has taken a lead on the issue globally,” Reiter says.

The United States scored a 71 in the perceptions index after scoring 75 the previous year.

“The expert opinion captured by the CPI supports the deep concern over corruption in government reported by America in our 2017 survey. Both experts and the public believe the situation is getting worse,” Reiter said.

Anti-Corruption
Bulgarian anti-corruption protesters march during a demonstration in downtown Sofia, VOA

Transparency International uses several criteria for measuring how well a country is fighting corruption, including checks and balances on political power, controls on conflicts of interest and private influence on government, and voter suppression.

Also Read: World’s Anti-Corruption Day

For the 2018 index, 180 countries were surveyed. Denmark and New Zealand topped the list while Somalia, Syria, and South Sudan were at the bottom. (VOA)