M A I N   N E W S

Govt agrees to make public Lokpal panel proceedings

iNew Delhi, October 9
Reversing its position, the government has agreed to make public the audio recordings of proceedings of the Joint Drafting Committee constituted to draft the Lokpal Bill.

The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) had earlier refused to bring out the deliberations of the committee in public domain after this information was sought by a RTI query from activist SC Agrawal. Agrawal welcomed the decision of the government, saying it is a good beginning for total transparency.

“It is indeed a welcome decision of the Union Government to have provided audio tapes of complete deliberations of joint drafting committee on Lokpal,” Agrawal said.

“Audio recordings of the meetings of the Joint Drafting Committee for drafting the Lokpal Bill have now become available with the undersigned. There are nine CDs and you may deposit copying fee of Rs 450 so that copies of the CDs can be supplied to you,” Under Secretary of the DoPT, Amarjit Singh wrote.

“Truth will be public on what Union ministers were saying and what civil society members were saying,” he added. The Joint Drafting Committee, comprising five members of Team Anna and an equal number of Cabinet ministers, was formed to finalise the draft of the Lokpal Bill.

In its recent reply, the department apparently changed its mind and asked Agrawal to deposit Rs 450 as additional fee for providing the audio recordings of the deliberations. Agrawal said he will deposit the money under protest tomorrow because information to a RTI query has to be provided free of cost if the response does not come within 30 days.

Earlier, responding to the RTI query, the DoPT had said that they require the nod of the Law Ministry to make public audio recordings of the closed door meetings between the government and Team Anna.

“The drafting panel was constituted by notification of the Ministry of Law and Justice wherein the JDC was supposed to evolve its own procedure. It may be further noted that the matter relating to RTI queries on audio- recordings of the JDC has been referred to the Department of Legal Affairs in the Ministry of Law and Justice for clarification," an RTI response from the DoPT had said. — PTI





Anna may be BJP’s Prez choice: DIgvijay

Agra: Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh says Anna Hazare is a mask of all anti-Congress parties and the BJP intends to put up the social activist as its Presidential candidate. “The BJP intends to put up Hazare as the Presidential candidate of all anti-Congress parties,” the Congress leaders told reporters here. Hazare is appealing to voters to defeat Congress in the Hisar Lok Sabha bypoll despite knowing fully the credentials of candidates of other parties, he said. — PTI 




Team Anna tones down its anti-Cong stand
Ravi S Singh/TNS

Hisar, October 9
A visibly chastened Team Anna today toned down its anti-Congress tirade considerably following the last evening’s incident at Uchana where a youth was pushed out of the meeting for posing queries to Arvind Kejriwal.

Team Anna clarified today that it had no “pathological” hatred for the Congress. The campaign against the UPA government was related only to its “negative attitude” towards the Jan Lokpal Bill.

On the second day of Team Anna’s anti-Congress campaign, Kejriwal while addressing a gathering at Nalwa, about 40 km from here, asserted that the campaign would be withdrawn as soon the Congress facilitated passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. This was in sharp contrast to the strident anti-Congress speeches he delivered yesterday, beginning with Narnaund.

Justifying Team Anna’s campaign, he said a defeat in the byelection here would serve as a warning to the Congress and force it to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.

He made light of the statement by Congress leader Digvijay Singh that the Hisar byelection was not important for his party. This smacked of “arrogance” on the part of the Congress and it was also an insult to the people of Hisar, he added.

He urged voters not to be complacent and ensure that they exercised their franchise. He did not rule out the possibility of the Congress trying to rig the poll.

Manish Sisodia, another important associate of Anna Hazare, said the voters could vote for any of the other 44 candidates in the fray in Hisar. He denied that Team Anna was politically biased against the Congress. “We only want an effective Lokpal institution,” he said.

He said the Congress had been in the denial mode since the beginning. It was the party in power and had the numbers to get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed. But it was still opposed to the Bill. That’s why Team Anna was opposing it. Any other party with a similar attitude would also have faced opposition from them, Sisodia said.

An Uchana-like situation was averted at Nalwa. A youth, Krishan Kumar, asked Kejriwal why he should not vote for the Congress since the Hooda government and the OP Jindal family had done a great job in developing the area. He kept asking supplementary questions, too, as Kejriwal responded. Kejriwal said at the moment the national interest was more important than the interest of the village. 





HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |