India – Jan Lokpal Bill Obstruction

August 25, 2011

By Padmini Arhant

Despite civil society leader Shri Anna Hazare’s 10th consecutive day fasting, the impasse with the government not yet over.

The government stance on Jan Lokpal has changed from positive to prolong mode basically undermining republic proposal for a strong anti-corruption law.

Team Anna members were deeply disappointed on the dramatic transformation in the government’s attitude and response during the high level talks with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Law and Justice Minister Salman Khurshid  on August 24, 2011

The government earlier reaction on August 23, 2011to Jan Lokpal bill was conciliatory and more inclined to introduce the bill in Parliament.

Subsequently the government has taken 180 degrees turn adopting a harsher demeanor and refusing to present the Jan Lokpal bill claiming the government Lokpal bill was already in place for discussion.

Even though government Lokpal has been established as weak and fundamentally flawed to deal with the corruption level in politics and society.

The catalyst for this development is the strategy adopted at the two meetings CCPA (Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs) and CCG (Congress Core Group) held on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 following Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee meeting with Anna Team on that day.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh convened both emergency meetings with the latter held at PM’s residence to discuss on Hazare issue.

Congress Core Group was represented by the party’s highest policy-making body to plan the next course of action against Jan Lokpal bill.

Amid internal politics within Congress party during the CCPA meeting, the administration’s two most influential and highly controversial ministers –

Home Minister P. Chidambatam and Communications Minister Kapil Sibal had instructed the committee to abandon the soft treatment of Shri Anna Hazare, his team and Jan Lokpal discussion.

Instead prescribed a hard line approach towards the team and the Jan Lokpal issue.

Accordingly, when the previously scheduled second round of negotiations took place between the government and Anna team, the decorum described as recalcitrant in manner.

Anna team recounted their experience to the press and media with great regrets that the government remarked Shri Anna Hzare’s fasting as an issue not related to them and Shri Anna Hazare would be responsible for the consequences.

Cabinet Committee on Political Affairs (CCPA)  and Congress Core group had officially decided to slight Jan Lokpal bill by subjecting citizens backed popular Jan Lokpal to political shenanigans with no due respect for the people’s plight or the Gandhian’s pledge against anti-corruption.

Since the Ministers advise to the committee resonated later in the all party meeting on August 24, 2011 derailing Jan Lokpal progress, the events leading to such recommendations are examine-worthy.

As stated earlier, Jan Lokpal bill is a robust anti-corruption antidote appropriate for the corruption epidemic in politics and general society.

Unlike the government Lokpal sheltering the implicated and those facing corruption charges,

Jan Lokpal includes them for investigation and due process among several other effective measures to curb corruption.

Not surprisingly, the political figures in the ruling and opposition coalition are vehemently opposed to Jan Lokpal becoming the law of the land.

Given the massive corruption scandals defiantly suppressed from CBI investigation and public as well as media scrutiny.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram previously as the Union Finance Minister directly involved in corruption scandals generating the largest black money costing national exchequer a staggering 2 lakhs crores in embezzlements is now ironically the privileged caretaker of the world’s largest democracy.

Congress Party former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram is the epitome of corruption, black money and primary recipient of kickbacks in lucrative deals and notorious 2G Spectrum case and Iron Ore Scam.

Mr. P. Chidambaram is the biggest rival to Jan Lokpal approval and using Home Minister position,

Mr. Chidambaram authorized the brutal crackdown of peaceful participants – men, women and children beaten at night by police at the Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev’s anti-corruption rally on June 4, 2011 and,

Subsequently executed the undemocratic arrest of the 74 years old Shri Anna Hazare prior to peaceful assembly on anti-corruption bill.

Mr. P. Chidambaram demonstrated that he would exercise his authority to demolish Jan Lokpal bill – seeking independent investigation unit for all the more reasons to eradicate corruption.

Corruption Activities by Finance Minister P. Chidambaram:

1. Deal worth Rs. 1700 crores – Hutch-Vodafone involving Essar and Finance Ministry under P. Chidambaram waiving foreign investment rules and not collecting Rs. 10,000 crores in income tax prior to finance ministry deal clearance.

2. Loss of Income to National Treasury – Rs. 80,000 crores in 2G spectrum case with the gains secured in black money benefitting Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, Congress Party and DMK ministers A. Raja and Maran (serving time in prison) costing tax payers in national revenue.

3. Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s shielding India’s leading industrialists – the Ambani brothers –

A. Mr. Mukesh Ambani in the Reliance to Pathak Committee – three contracts (M9/35, M10/17 and M11/25) through bribery.

B. Mr. Anil Ambani protected by CBI under Home Ministry guidance in the 2G scam with Rs. 990 crore Reliance investment in Swan Telecom. The 10% stake holders in this deal are in prison.

4. Mr. P. Chidambaram’s mega profiteering in black money is from Iron ore scam.  The Finance Minister facilitating illegal mining with generous tax evasions and minimum royalty in MMDR Act violation was a phenomenal loss to the nation especially with the iron ore mining yielding substantial profits to the company and industry.

5. Mr. P. Chidambaram also implicated in the Justice Pathak Inquiry Committee report and Justice Liberhan report.

6. Recently the Home Minister P. Chidambaram cited in New Delhi Watergate for bugging the current Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee’s office.

7. Notwithstanding the dereliction of duty as Home Minister, on Mr. P. Chidambaram’s watch July 13, 2011 Mumbai blast resulted in the loss of precious lives.

This is only the tip of the iceberg in the litany of corruption charges against the honorable Finance Minister and now the Home Minister P. Chidambaram exerting political might to prohibit Jan Lokpal bill –

The formidable anti-corruption act desperately required to liberate the nation from corruption and systemic abuse of power.

Similarly Mr. Kapil Sibal – Congress Party – Communications and Information Technology Minister shares the political scandal on 2G spectrum scam with his colleague Mr. P. Chidambaram,

Apart from Mr. Sibal’s active role in the civil society leader Shri Anna Hazare’s unlawful apprehension,

Mr. Sibal also engaged in obstructing Jan Lokpal bill in Parliament for vested interests.

With a plethora of corruption scandals, the Congress party appointing both ministers in the committee to draft anti-graft is indeed humorous on the administration’s part to treat Lokpal as Jokepal legislation.

On account of incriminating track record, the former Finance Minister and now Home Minister P. Chidambaram must step down from office effective immediately and face trial for betrayal of national trust and undermining democracy at every opportunity diminishing Parliamentary status as the lawmaker and violating constitutional oath to serve the republic of India.

Communications and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal resignation required with trial for 2G spectrum scam to restore democratic values and constitutional law in equal treatment of all citizens regardless of political, economic and social stature.

Cabinet ministers failure to resign from office momentarily would lead to citizens’ peaceful and non-violent protest outside residence demanding their exit.

Jan Lokpal bill in entirety guarantees corruption free society.

Citizens from all walks of life are urged to maintain solidarity in the national cause.

Shri Anna Hazare and team need overwhelming support in Jan Lokpal legislation.

With thoughts and prayers for Shri Anna Hazare’s health,

Wishing Shri Anna Hazare, the team and the people – success with Jan Lokpal bill.

People power must prevail in a democracy.

Jai Hind!

Peace to all!

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant









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