The Congress on Friday said the ball is in the court of social activist Anna Hazare and his supporters.
“The ball is in their court…We have agreed with every substantial demand… Absolutely no substantial or real issues remains to be resolved…Are not some of the members of the civil society being obstinate and intransigent?” party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi told reporters. Mr Singhvi made a spirited defence of the government telling the supporters of Mr Hazare that “we cannot lose sense of balance. We are a government by Constitution. Jingoistic and populist slogans cannot take place of substance.”
Putting the onus on Mr Hazare’s associates for his health condition, Mr Singhvi suggested that the impasse arose due to demands by the supporters of Mr Hazare that the chairman of the joint committee for drafting the Lokpal Bill should be from civil society and that government should notify the committee.
“Is it possible for an extremely senior minister to sit on a committee under someone else’s chairmanship or headed by any member from civil society. Will the society members pilot the bill in Parliament?
“We must realise that we are part of a constitutional governance, where the responsibility for any legislations lays squarely on the government and the council of ministers,” Mr Singhvi said, accusing Mr Hazare’s supporters of delaying the process of setting up the committee on “procedural matters”. Mr Singhvi, however, did not name anyone.
Replying to questions, Mr Singhvi said the government has literally walked the “extra mile” to resolve the issue and the government’s acceptance of demand for joint committee should not be construed as a precedent or principle. “We have utmost deference and respect for Hazare. We have tried to engage with him at every stage…Despite no precedent we still agreed to a joint drafting committee,” he said. Asian Age