Congress has decided to launch a country-wide movement against forces that do not contest elections, but organise movements to ‘weaken the democratic fabric’ of the nation, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in Kolkata on Sunday. Prompted by agitations led by civil society activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev , Congress has released a document to highlight its views. Mukherjee told a news conference that the document will be printed in all major Indian languages and will also be handed over to state party units so that they could lead a movement to convince the people about the ‘illintention’ of such forces to ‘weaken’ the democratic set up.
“Parliament was given the right to formulate laws. But a section of civil society wants to have supremacy over Parliament and for the purpose, they are organising hunger strikes and other forms of movements to pressure the government . Such moves would not be tolerated ,” Mukherjee said. The government’s idea to choose Kolkata, the capital of a state where the UPA secured a thumping victory over the CPM-led Left Front, despite the anti-corruption campaigns against it, was significant. “Unconstitutional practices of a section of civic society, which generally don’t take part in election, but try to influence the democratic set up and the Constitution of India will not be tolerated,” Mukherjee said.
“Anna Hazare has said that he will go for a fresh hunger strike from August 16 if our government fails to pass the Lokpal Bill by August 15. But one should realise that there is a system in Parliament which every political party – ruling and opposition – should follow. We would not be able to do anything bypassing Parliament and existing norms. Naturally, it may not be possible for the government to accept such a demand by any individual,” Mukherjee said. He criticised the main Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party for creating a deadlock in the Lok Sabha. Economic Times