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Weak Lokpal: Et tu, Kejriwal?

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A day after AAP leaders Kumar Vishwas and Sanjay Singh sounded out anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare on Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill 2015 tabled by their government, former party leader Prashant Bhushan on Friday met the social activist in Ralegan Siddhi to explain main flaws in the bill.

Bhushan claims the lacunas in the AAP’s Lokpal bill make it pretty weak as compared to the original draft of the bill from 2014 which the party had failed to table by virtue of the alleged opposition by the BJP and Congress.

The Delhi cabinet on Thursday cleared two amendments to the Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, 2015 after Kejriwal assured Hazare to implement his suggestions in the bill.

One amendment proposes a seven-member panel to select two members and chairperson in the institution of Jan Lokpal. Now, the proposed new members will include another judge from the high court, any eminent personality selected by the rest of the committee members and the Lokpal chairman from the next term.

As for removal of Lokpal, there would be a high court inquiry first before referring the matter to the assembly, two-thirds of the Delhi assembly can vote to remove the ombudsman.

ALSO READ: Five reasons why AAP Lokpal is Mahajokepal

However, seeking the reinstatement of the original draft of the 2014 bill, Bhushan explained to Hazare the major flaws in the ombudsman that includes the clause which allows the Delhi Lokpal the power to investigate charges of corruption against central government employees. This, he believes, could lead to an unnecessary impasse.

Bhushan alleged that this provision has been introduced with malafide intentions to ensure that the central government does not approve and the bill never gets passed. The AAP will then claim that it tried to pass the Jan Lokpal Bill, but the central government obstructed it.

Furthermore, Bhushan has alleged no investigative machinery has been given to or placed under Delhi Lokpal as per section 10 in the proposed bill. Without its own independent officers, solely recruited for and dedicated to the institution, the Lokpal would merely be like the various other commissions and tribunals.

He has also claimed that the AAP government wanted the appointment of the Lokpal to be controlled by the political class and would not let any appointment be made without the approval of ruling party as the selection committee for the Lokpal would consist of High Court Chief Justice, the Chief Minister, Assembly Speaker and Leader of Opposition.

Hazare has assured Bhushan to look into the matter. Needless to say, considering the flaws pointed out by Bhushan, who was expelled from the party along with Yogendra Yadav, the Lokpal introduced by the Delhi government comes across as pretty weak and a watered down version of the 2014 Lokpal.

The Delhi government, with 67 MLAs out of total 70 in the state Assembly, was expected to bring a strong anti-corruption ombudsman, but one fails to understand why, despite the overwhelming majority, Kejriwal has tried to compromise on the effectiveness of the Lokpal.

Is it the case that now when Kejriwal and his supporters have found their way to the corridors of powers, they have realized that in order to survive in the system corruption is a necessity? Is he in a way trying to aid corruption by introducing an apparently weak Lokpal?

It is a pity that a party that came into existence on the plank of an anti-corruption movement is apparently being soft on the issue of graft. It is an injustice to the lakhs of volunteers and supporters of the AAP who saw a ray of hope in the fledgling party and sacrificed their time and money to build it from the scratch.

Kejriwal must answer these tough questions that make AAP look like a mirror image of other political parties. What is it that differentiates AAP from others?

Tum toh un jaise nikle (Alas, you also turned out like others).

(Image: Indian Express)

Next Story

Here’s How the Song “Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya” Talks About the Corruption Done by AAP

"Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya" song is a part of the upcoming web series "Pradarshita: Transparency"

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The song "Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya" talks about the political funding and corruption done by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government AAP. Wikimedia Commons

By Kanan Parmar 

The song “Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya” is a part of the upcoming documentary web series titled “Transparency: Pardarshita“, directed by Munish Raizada. The web series reflects upon the corruption and false promises of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

The song “Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya” has been fervently sung by the legendary singer Udit Narayan. It is penned down by the well-known lyricist Annu Rizvi and composed by Pravesh Mallick.

“Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya” is more than ‘just a song’ as it talks about the political funding and corruption done by the Arvind Kejriwal-led government AAP.

The reason why this song is different from other songs is that this song isn’t merely meant for entertainment. The song has the power to speak for the disappointment, anger and distress of the common man.

People had expected a lot from Aam Aadmi Party but alas, they were deceived and cheated by the party.

All political parties are mostly crowdfunded, but the citizens do not simply donate money for no reason. The citizen lives in the hope of witnessing development.

In the name of “chanda’, meaning donation, the citizens were cleverly looted by the party. AAP had removed its donors’ list from the website in June 2016, and that’s when they moved away from being responsible, accountable and transparent to the citizens.

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The song “Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya” is an appeal to AAP to stop playing dirty politics. Wikimedia Commons

Ironically, the core principles of the Aam Aadmi Party are: transparency, decentralisation of power, and vigilances. It’s evident how the party cannot keep up with its own principles and that is why it would be useless to expect AAP to fulfill the promises it made to the citizens.

“Kitna Chanda Jeb Mei Aaya” song aims to educate the people to not fall for the meaningless words and promises of the Aam Aadmi Party.

Also Read- All you Need to Know About the Protests in India Over Citizenship Law

This song is an appeal to AAP to stop playing dirty politics. This song isn’t merely melody but it speaks for truth, justice and transparency.