Sunday, April 10, 2011

Lokpal Bill: Hedge ready to be member of panel

Lokayukta N Santosh Hegde on Saturday said he was prepared to be a member of the joint committee to draft a stronger anti-graft Lokpal Bill. Hegde, who had earlier refused to head the committee on ground that he had supported the movement of social activist Anna Hazare and his earlier role in drafting the Lokpal Bill might invite allegations of being biased and prejudiced said he would definitely represent civil society in the committee.

Describing the developments where the Union government agreed to form a joint committee that included ministers and members of civil society to come up with a stronger anti-graft Lokpal Bill as a victory for Anna Hazare, Hegde reminded the society that this was not the end of the movement. "We have just crossed a stage in our efforts to take on corruption," he told reporters here, adding that the joint committee would help thrash out differences.

The civil society does not expect the government to accept all its suggestions as it wanted in the Jan Lokpal Bill. However, the civil society would not rest till such time that it gets an effective Lokpal, who has control not only over the politicians including the Prime Minister, but also over the bureaucrats. This is the beginning of change, the lokayukta said, adding that there are miles to go before an effective lokpal that civil society envisages, is in place.

Admitting that he still has a lot of work to do (in Karnataka) and reports to submit in his current assignment as the lokayukta, Hegde explained that him joining the joint committee was to take forward the process of having drafted a part of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

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