Dalits push their version of Lokpal bill
New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) A representative of Dalit organisations
Saturday sought support for their version of the anti-graft bill,
claiming that the Jan Lokpal bill drafted by Team Anna 'will disturb
the constitutional balance'.
'The Jan Lokpal bill wants the executive, the judiciary and the
legislature should report to the Lokpal. This will disturb the fine
constitutional balance,' said All India Confederation of SC/ST
Organisations chairman Udit Raj, seeking support for their version of
the proposed legislation called the Bahujan Lokpal bill.
Speaking at a seminar, he sought reservation for Dalits and minorities
in the proposed anti-corruption set-up through the Bahujan Lokpal
bill. 'If Anna supports our demand, we will back him.'
'Dalits, including the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes and
minorities, form a large percentage of population and must be involved
in the Lokpal,' Udit Raj said at the seminar on various versions of
the proposed legislation.
Swami Agnivesh, a former member of Team Anna, also supported the
demand for a quota for Dalits and minorities in the proposed Lokpal
'No legislation or movement will be successful if it does not have
social justice,' said Agnivesh.
Shazia Ilmi, a member of Team Anna, said, 'our movement follows
parliamentary procedures' and 'was not opposed to giving reservation
to the Dalits and minorities'.
'We are basically against corruption and want a strong Lokpal,' said Shazia.
Udit Raj said even if the Lokpal bill was passed, 'there is no
guarantee it will be effective in rooting out corruption'.
The parliamentary standing committee on law and justice headed by
Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi is looking into various drafts of
the Lokpal bill, including the Jan Lokpal bill.
The panel is expected to submit its recommendations to parliament by
the winter session, which is usually held in November-December.
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