A day after pledging support to Anna Hazare in fight against corruption, UP chief minister Mayawati on Friday attacked the social activist and Congress-led UPA government for not including any scheduled caste member in joint committee for drafting Jan Lokpal Bill. She demanded that the committee should be reconstituted and include a non-political scheduled caste member.
Without naming anybody, the UP chief minister also said that the committee should distance itself from those whose integrity is doubted. Maya’s attack has come at a time when the joint committee is facing crisis. Committee’s co-chairperson and senior Supreme Court advocate Shanti Bhushan and his lawyer son Prashant Bhushan, who is also a member of the committee, are under pressure to quit in the wake of CD and land deal controversies.
Significantly, the BSP had on Thursday announced support for Anna and accused Congress leaders of levelling unnecessary allegations against his team members.
Addressing media persons, Mayawati said that none of the members, five each nominated by Hazare and UPA government, are from scheduled caste category. She said that Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar was a dalit and was found to be the most suitable person to draft the Indian Constitution. Hence, she said, she could not understand why the UPA government and the civil society members did not provide representation to the scheduled castes in the joint drafting committee.
Maya attacked Congress by accusing it of castist mentality. “Congress party talks about dalits but does not involve them in important decision making process,” she said. In the same vein, she targeted Anna saying “Anna belongs to Maharashtra, the birth place of Babasaheb. Maharashtra is also a place from where many social reform movements originated in the country. How can he forget to include a scheduled caste member in the committee,” she said.
Maya said that she cannot buy the argument that civil society members led by Hazare and the UPA government could not find any suitable scheduled cast person who could be part of the joint committee for drafting the Jan Lokpal Bill.
She said that now the Central government should rectify the mistake committed by the civil society members by including a non-political dalit member. For this, she added, the drafting committee should be reconstituted at the earliest. TOI