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Lokpal Bill must cover NGOs,corporates: Digvijaya

Does he believe that all voters are dishonest?

In a veiled attack on non-government organisations (NGOs) that supported Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign,senior Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Tuesday suggested the Lokpal Bill should also cover “corporates and NGOs”.

He also supported the idea of social activists,who are in the joint committee,declaring their assets.

The Congress general secretary took a dig at Hazare for his controversial remarks that people vote for Rs 100 or a sari or a bottle of liquor and therefore,he will not contest an election.

“Does he believe that all voters are dishonest? Just as it is not proper to call all politicians dishonest,it is not proper to call voters dishonest. This statement does not behove his stature,” said Singh adding,“Everyone who abuses politicians should contest an election.”

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Questioning the source of money spent on putting up tents,media coverage and rallies (by NGOs),Singh said the US anti-corruption law provides for looking into the functioning of corporates and NGOs.

“This joint drafting committee should also consider it. Where does the money come from for pandals,media coverage and rallies?” he asked.

Asked if social activists who are on the panel to draft the Lokpal Bill should declare their assets,he said,“It will be in the highest tradition of transparency.”

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Stating that it is “not possible” to end corruption by the Lokpal Bill alone,the former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said that the National Advisory Council (NAC) should come out with a comprehensive package to deal with corruption,including seizure of disproportionate assets as done by the Jammu & Kashmir and Bihar governments,and the inclusion of the five points suggested by Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the party’s plenary session.

Referring to Hazare’s praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi,Singh said,“But I want to know from Anna why he does not pressurise Modi to adopt Jan Lokpal Bill and appoint a Lokayukta who has not been there for seven years and people of Gujarat do not know where to complain.”

Asked about the presence of Baba Ramdev in Hazare’s campaign,Singh said,“Anna,Arvind Kejriwal and Agnivesh should themselves do self-introspection about who was on dais with them.” He,however,vouched for Hazare’s secular credentials “till now”.

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Asked about the alleged involvement of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh in Hazare’s campaign,the Congress leader said that although there was a Bharat Mata image,the difference was that while the image used by the RSS has a saffron flag,the one used by Hazare had the Tricolour.

First published on: 13-04-2011 at 03:52:39 am
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