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RSS, VHP presence at fast venue irks Prashant Bhushan

Posted by on June 5, 2011 0 Comment

Member of the Joint Committee for drafting the Lokpal Bill Prashant Bhushan said here on Saturday that he disapproved of Baba Ramdev sharing his ‘indefinite fast against corruption’ platform with leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

Speaking to media persons on the sidelines of an interactive session ‘Can the Lokpal Bill Instil Integrity’ organised by the Bharat Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Bhushan said: “You cannot prevent anybody from supporting any movement but they [religious bodies] should not be allowed to use your platform. I am very unhappy that Sadhvi Ritambara and communal people from the RSS and other communal organisations are being allowed to use the platform.”

Mr. Bhushan, however, refused to comment on the demands raised by Baba Ramdev and the amount of money spent on arrangements at the fasting venue. “I cannot say anything about Baba Ramdev. He is his own person. I do not know how much money has been spent or where the money has come from. It is up to him.” He said he agreed with Baba Ramdev on most of his demands except the one on death penalty.

Mr. Bhushan had a suggestion for the yoga guru though. “I will caution him not to be taken in by empty assurances of the Centre. Let it either take some concrete action or at least give a written assurance which it will be more or less bound to honour. I say so because the government is a master at making assurances which they do not often fulfil.”

Speaking about the possibility of the Lokpal Bill draft being tabled in the monsoon session of Parliament as assured by the Centre, Mr. Bhushan said he was unsure. “We are apprehensive that it might not happen because so far the progress has been slow. However, if the government becomes serious and spends more time on it, it can still be brought in the monsoon session.”

On the current debate whether the Prime Minister should be brought within the ambit of the Lokpal, with the Centre disagreeing, Mr. Bhushan said that the purpose of the Lokpal would be “crippled” if irregularities in Ministries held by the Prime Minister were not allowed to be investigated.

“It makes no sense whatsoever to say that the Prime Minister should be immune from any corruption investigation.” Hindu

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