"Government is misleading the whole nation"

RTI activist Arvind Kejriwal tells Governance Now why it is time for a strong anti-graft law


Danish Raza | April 6, 2011

Arvind Kerjriwal
Arvind Kerjriwal

The government has said that it cannot form a joint committee with civil society members as part of it, because they represent neither legislature nor executive. Your response?
This is rubbish. The government is misleading the whole nation. We have given them at least ten precedents where a joint committee drafted a bill. We are not saying that the joint committee will pass the bill. Bill will be presented and debated in the parliament. We are not bypassing it. But why cannot joint committee draft the bill? There are seven acts in Maharashtra which were passed through joint committees.

Why is the government apprehensive this time?
This is about corruption and that is the crux. If they have an anti- corruption law, then half of them will be in jail.

Since the time Anna Hazare sat on fast, has the government communicated to you in this regard?

The government has said that Hazare’s fast is premature and unnecessary as there is already a sub-committee headed by A K Antony which is looking in the bill. Your reaction?
Such committees have been doing their jobs for decades now. Very weak versions of the bill have been presented in Parliament earlier and even those were not passed by our honourable politicians. This means if given a chance, the politicians and bureaucrats will never pass a law which goes against them and subjects them to an objective scrutiny. We have no faith in the government representatives working on the bill at present.

We are saying that let's debate and discuss it. Government does not want a dialogue. It wants a one way communication. This is not democracy.

When will the fast end?
The moment the government sets up a joint committee.

Will that be the end of the movement, too?
No. The movement will end only when the Lokpal bill, as wanted by us, is enacted.




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