Hegde won't mind Dalit minister in Lokpal panel
New Delhi, Apr 24 : Former Supreme Court judge Santosh Hegde on Sunday
said the Lokpal panel may include a Dalit, provided he is a minister.
Hegde's reaction comes after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati on
Friday said she wants the Lokpal panel to be reconstituted with
inclusion of a Dalit.
"I don't support caste-wise panel constitution. But if at all a Dalit
is to be included in the Lokpal panel, it should be one of the Dalit
Ministers from the government," Hegde told reporters here.
On Friday, Mayawatio had said: "A Dalit from a non-political
background should be included in the Lokpal Bill drafting committee."
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) leader said she expected Gandhian social
activist Anna Hazare to include Scheduled Caste's in Lokpal committee,
especially because Indian jurist Dr BR Ambedkar, a Dalit, hailed from
Meanwhile, Hegde on late Saturday night confirmed that he is not
quitting the Lokpal panel. His decision came after meeting Gandhian
social activist Anna Hazare on the issue.
"In the interest of the nation, I will not quit the Lokpal panel," said Hegde.
Speaking to television channels, Hegde, the ombudsman of Karnataka, on
Thursday said that he was frustrated with the 'vilification' targeted
at the members of the joint committee formed to draft the Jan Lokpal
Hegde had said he was "seriously considering" quitting the panel as he
was not ready to face the kind of attacks that have been meted out to
his colleagues on the panel Shanti and Prashant Bhushan.
Called the Jan Lokpal Bill, it had seen stiff opposition from certain
sections within the government and politicians possibly because it
aims to give an ombudsman police-like powers to prosecute any
minister, bureaucrat or judge independently.
Weeks after the Congress-led coalition government at the Centre was
forced to bow to demands of the activists, a series of allegations
started sprouting up against the civil society members of the panel.
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