Rahul to blame for Lokpal flip-flop, says Anna

Ralegan-Siddhi (Maharashtra) : Anna Hazare Friday blamed Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi for the Lokpal parliamentary panel, in a sudden about turn, deciding against bringing Group C government employees within the ombudsman’s ambit.

“It seems there is no coordination in the government. The standing committee had decided (to include) and then Rahul Gandhi might have suggested something else,” Hazare told reporters here.

“Rahul Gandhi must have influenced change in decision to exclude Group C and D from Lokpal ambit. Rahul had suggested that Lokpal should be made a constitutional body, but then there should not be any government interference,” he said.

“What else can be the reason for changing a decision? I think Rahul Gandhi must have told them don’t bring class 3 and 4 officers. Public will teach them a lesson,” Hazare added.

Hazare was referring to the decision of the parliamentary panel studying the Lokpal bill to keep around six million Group C employees – the bottom layer of government officials – out of the anti-graft ombudsman. Ten members of the 31-member panel submitted a note of dissent on the draft report Thursday.

Hazare, who led two successful anti-corruption campaigns in New Delhi in April and August, said he would be sitting on a protest agitation on Dec 27 to demand a strong Lokpal.

“When we sit on 27th, you will listen what people of the country have to say to you. It was not an office clerk who promised (for a strong Lokpal), it was the chief of a nation. This is cheating with public,” he added.

He is also holding a day’s protest at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Dec 11.

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