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Threat to democracy is from unelected tyrants, says Congress

Monday June 13, 2011 08:12:14 PM, IANS

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Are you scared? Team Hazare asks PM; Congress hits back

A day after Baba Ramdev ended his nine-day fast against corruption, Team Hazare Monday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh why he was "scared" of the proposed Lokpal bill, prompting the Congress to hit back at the civil  

New Delhi: Coming out hard against Team Anna Hazare, the Congress Monday accused it of being undemocratic in talks with the government on the Lokpal bill, and said "if democracy in the country has any threat, it is from the unelected tyrants."

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari said there was need to clear confusion about what constitutes civil society.

Referring to Hazare's statement that he would resume fast if the proposed bill was not passed by Aug 15, Tewari said the stance by non-government members of the joint drafting committee was undemocratic.

"Such disrespect to people is with those who don't respect democracy. They always keep threatening to go on fast even as the government is holding discussions with them," he said.

Tewari's comments came a day after Hazare wrote to Congress president Sonia Gandhi against some party leaders calling him a "mask" of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Hazare, along with four members of civil society, are in the joint drafting committee on the Lokpal bill which is slated to complete its work by June 30.

The committee includes five union ministers.

The Congress spokesman said if non-government members in the joint drafting committee have faith in their strength, they should convince the government through discussions.

"If you believe in your argument, convince (the) government. If this country and democracy of this country has any threat, it is from the unelected tyrants."

"If democracy faces its greatest peril, it is from the tyranny of the unelected. And such people need to understand one basic thing - in the democratic system of India or any democratic country, the veto is in the hands of people, not any person," Tewari said.

Referring to media reports of the government having been described as "a bunch of frauds and cheats", Tewari said it was an insult to the electorate.

"It shows the contempt in which you hold democracy. And this is the same government which constituted the joint drafting committee...If this is the language that you use against such a government, then it's most unfortunate and it begs a question as to who is engineering the breakdown," Tewari said.

He added: "Firstly, it is difficult to understand what is civil society. Do they think that they are civil and others uncivil... Five persons can be members of an organisation...who made them representatives (of civil society)? There is need to clear this confusion."

The civil society members in the drafting committee have said they will resume their agitation if their "basic principles" on the proposed Lokpal bill are not accepted.

They have also demanded that the prime minister be brought in the ambit of the Lokpal bill.




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