Activists demand strong anti-corruption institutions

Civil society organisations and politicians protest against Modi government for weakening anti-corruption institutions and ask to strengthen accountability

pratap

Pratap Vikram Singh | March 9, 2017 | New Delhi


#Swaraj Party   #civil society   #protest   #anti-corruption   #Narendra Modi  


 
Civil society organisations organised Ghotala Rath Yatra in Delhi to protest against Modi government’s alleged attempt to deliberately weaken anti-corruption institutions and its indifference towards introducing laws to strengthen accountability in the government machinery.  
 
“Five years ago people came together for a mass movement to demand a law for setting up a Lokpal [parliamentary ombudsman]. It culminated in passing of the law in the Parliament. However, even after three years the government is yet to appoint Lokpal,” said Prashant Bhushan, senior lawyer and president, Swaraj Abhiyan. The whistle blowers law was passed in 2014. This too hasn't been notified yet, he added.
 
 
He further said that the Modi government has destroyed the corruption watchdog: central vigilance commission (CVC) by appointing two corrupt officials at the commission. A proposed amendment in the prevention of corruption legislation requires investigation agencies including Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to take prior permission from the government before probing any senior government official, he added.
 
The protest was organised by National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), Anti-Corruption Team (Swaraj Abhiyan), Campaign for Judicial Accountability and Reform (CJAR) and National Alliance for People’s Movement (NAPM). Among civil society activists and politicians present at Jantar Mantar were Aruna Roy, Prakash Karat, Yogendra Yadav, Nikhil Dey and Anjali Bharadwaj. 
 
“We all have heard about Bofors scandal. But Modi government presides over the biggest defence scandal in the history,” Bhushan said, referring to the Rafale fighter jets deal. 
 
One year after being in the government, defence minister Manohar Parrikar said that one plane will cost Rs 900 crore. Later the cost was revised to Rs 1,700 crore per plane and a contract was given to a company owned by Anil Ambani that has no experience of making defence products. 
 
“I wrote a letter to PM Modi, giving him details of the Rs 4,000 crore black money related to Anil Ambani. Nothing happened after that,” he said. 
“The irony is that the BJP came to power promising zero tolerance towards corruption. Modi said, ‘Na Khaunga Na Khane Doonga’. Recently, the government passed a law which exempted public servants from disclosing property and assets owned by their spouse and family,” said Anjali Bharadwaj of the NCPRI. 
 
The government has also made changes in the proposed whistleblower law wherein if a government official gives out information or makes a complaint he or she can be sentenced for 14 years, Bharadwaj said.
 
Aruna Roy, cofounder, MKSS, said that the government is trying to curb people’s right to freedom of expression and dissent. In Rajasthan, if a dharna has to be organised one first needs to seek government’s approval. The authorities demand an affidavit from the organisers that they would not speak anything against the government, Roy said.
 
She said that the government is trying to mislead people that machines will reduce corruption. “Aadhaar and Jan Dhan have failed to curb corruption and Rajasthan is an example,” she said. 
 
She said that since Parliament sessions have started, the protesters would remain at the Jantar Mantar to remind the government of these demands towards bringing greater accountability in governance. 
 
The protestors were present in few hundreds and came from different Delhi slums. They complained about the lack of access to clean and drinkable water and sanitation facility. A significant number of protesters were Yogendra Yadav supporters who had joined the rally to make it a success. They held placards, stating, “Adani Ambani Ke Karze Maaf, Kisano Ke Kyun Nahi”, ‘Appoint Lokpal’, ‘Pass Grievance Redressal Law’, amid slogans of “Modi Sarkar sharam karo, sharam karo”.    
 

 

Comments

 

Other News

Uddhav Thackeray resigns as chief minister of Maharashtra

Minutes after the Supreme Court ordered a floor test on Wednesday night, Uddhav Thackeray in a televised address resigned as the chief minister of Maharashtra and also as a member of legislative council (MLC). He later drove down to Raj Bhavan and tendered his resignation to the governor Bhagat Singh Koshi

Gig workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30

The gig economy has arrived in India, as the Covid-19 pandemic has propelled a flexibility of employment. As many as 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy, constituting 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35

How Antyodaya Saral is simplifying everyday life in Haryana

From obtaining an electricity connection to a driver`s licence, ration card, or old-age allowance, delivery of government schemes and services is an aspect of governance that impacts citizens at various points throughout their lives. The Haryana state government provides over 600 such schemes and services.

A blueprint of India’s economic future: From a former RBI governor

From Dependence to Self-Reliance: Mapping India’s Rise as a Global Superpower By Bimal Jalan Rupa Publications, 184 pages, Rs 695 Bimal Jalan, a former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has been one of our finest commentators on econom

Carbon neutrality: distant dream or a possible future?

While many countries have been chasing to reach the carbon neutral status, only a few seem to be living up to their pledges as of now. The famous ’Paris Agreement’ of 2015 was glorified and celebrated that finally 196 countries have united with an intent to mitigate and reduce the greenhouse ga

Agnipath: benefits and challenges on the path ahead

The government this week announced the Tour of Duty or `Agnipath` scheme for the recruitment of soldiers in the armed forces. Under this scheme new soldiers will be recruited only for four years. This radical and far-reaching scheme has attracted mixed reactions from various quarters. While some officials

Visionary Talk: Sanjay Pandey, Mumbai Police Commissioner with Kailashnath Adhikari, MD, Governance Now


Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter