Team Anna has dismissed Rahul Gandhi’s proposal to widen the scope of the Lokpal bill, calling it a “five year plan” and impractical. Some even called it a possible delaying tactic.
Most of Anna Hazare’s supporters are not impressed by Rahul Gandhi’s seeming earnestness in tying the Lokpal issue with a lot of others such as government support to political parties, removal of mining corruption, tax reforms etc..
Rahul Gandhi also that Lokpal need not be just a statutory authority, but can be elevated to a constitutional authority like the Election Commission of India. “Let us fortify the Lokpal bill,” he said.
However, Justice Santosh Hegde pointed out that getting a constitutional body set up will take many more years than a statutory body. “It will take another 40 years,” Hegde pointed out.
Shanti Bhushan, former law minister of India, pointed out that nothing prevented the Government from trying to put in a constitutional authority. Meanwhile, he said, let us at least have a legal (statutory) authority as demanded by Anna Hazare.
Medha Patkar, another activist associated with the cause, said she agreed with most of the theory given by Rahul Gandhi, but she was not sure why they wanted to expand the scope of the current situation and demands.
“When there is position on a basic Janlokpal bill itself, why enter into something which seeks more.. At the moment, there cannot be a debate on constitutional vs statutory etc..,” she said. “If this is a delaying tactic, it is all the more unfortunate. It will erode the credibility of the UPA government even more,” she added.