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Ramdev attacks ‘nepotism’ in Lokpal Bill drafting committee

Ramdev is protesting against the inclusion of Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan in the committee.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
April 10, 2011 12:55:47 am

Baba Ramdev and representatives of his Bharat Swabhiman today took digs at the composition of the joint government-civil society committee to draft the Lokpal Bill. The yoga guru was one of the founders of India Against Corruption (IAC),the platform behind this week’s protests,and he complained today about the inclusion of both former law minister Shanti Bhushan and his advocate son Prashant Bhushan in the Joint Drafting Committee notified by the government.

“We initiated all this,from September 2010 to the first rally with Babaji,Arvind Kejriwal and Anna Hazareji. Even when the first draft of the Jan Lokpal Bill was drawn up on December 1 last year,we were central to it all,I myself was present,” S K Tijarawala,spokesman for Bharat Swabhiman and Ramdev’s Patanjali Yogpeeth,said.

“The Ramlila rally on February 27 had several lakh signatures mobilised by us and our workers who were tirelessly behind all this,” Tijarawala said.

In Haridwar,Ramdev demanded an explanation for the “nepotism” in the committee,PTI reported.

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“Why is there nepotism in the committee? Why both father and son are accommodated in the committee”? PTI quoted him as saying.

Tijarawala said,“Several people are asking us pita mukhiya,beta sadasya aur Kejriwal ki seat ka rahasya (the mystery of the co-chairman father,member son,and the seat for Arvind Kejriwal)… But what can we say about this? We have to be very careful about dynasties or casteism while fighting corruption in this great democracy,and the people understand all this. What more can I say? They got together with the government,negotiated and agreed to some things. People know best.”

The Jan Lokpal Bill,Tijarawala said,would not be effective without clauses about “bhrasht ko sooli (death for the corrupt) and paise ki khoon se wasooli (blood money for corruption)”.

At a press conference in Delhi,Hazare and Kejriwal defended the inclusion of both Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan in the drafting committee,PTI reported. “Nothing wrong in having two members of the same family in the panel. We need experience. We need expertise,” Hazare said. “It is a coincidence that they are father and son. But they are experts,they are very experienced and independent lawyers,” said Kejriwal.

PTI quoted Prashant Bhushan as saying,“Personally I wouldn’t like to be in the panel. Ideally,somebody else should be a member… We were involved in drafting of the Lokpal Bill. So,Anna made us members. As of now,I am not withdrawing myself but if it comes to that I am willing to withdraw myself.”

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