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Don't be rigid on Jan Lokpal bill, Bardhan tells civil society

Sunday December 11, 2011 05:12:55 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan Sunday said though he was in agreement with Team Anna on several issues, he was against the rigidity being displayed by activists on absolute acceptance of their Jan Lokpal bill.

Bardhan said he did not agree with all points of the Jan Lokpal bill and asked them to be flexible.

"Don't expect that every word, fullstop and comma of Jan Lokpal bill will be accepted, be flexible. You should also have the patience to listen to others," Bardhan said.

Giving his party's views during the debate organised by Team Anna at Jantar Mantar Sunday, Bardhan strongly favoured inclusion of the prime minister, group C employees under the ambit of the ombudsman, and citizen's charter.

"Prime minister should be under Lokpal," Bardhan said.

"There should be a committee for corrupt ministers, but the head is out..., what does it mean? So prime minister should be included," he said.

Bardhan also said that group C employees should be included under the Lokpal, even if it means adding lakhs of people under the watchdog.

"Group C employees should be included, because common people like me and you don't come in contact with A and B group employees. The harassment we face everyday is by group C," he said.

The Left leader also backed inclusion of CBI's investigative wing under Lokpal, but said he was against inclusion of higher judiciary as it should remain independent.

"I don't think judiciary should be under Lokpal. Judiciary should be independent, and a national judicial commission should be formed and a strong judicial accountability bill should be there," he added.

The debate is being conducted at the site of activist Anna Hazare's one day token fast against the report of the parliamentary committee on Lokpal bill, and favoring a strong anti-graft body.






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