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MP clears Lokpal stand on Facebook

New Delhi, Dec. 29: Once a darling of the Anna Hazare clique, Jamshedpur MP Ajoy Kumar has posted a 16-point explanation on Facebook why he supported the Lokpal bill and the Constitution amendment bill, opposing the Gandhian for mounting pressure on the government to pass a “draconian legislation”.

The main reasons why the JVM voted for the bills, he wrote, are the passage of the citizen’s charter bill and the inclusion of all ministers and senior bureaucrats under the ambit of the Lokpal, who can investigate them without government clearance. The Prime Minister too is covered, albeit with safeguards.

He wrote, “Group C & D officials have been included under the supervision of Central Vigilance Commission, which comes under the ambit of the Lokpal itself. Therefore, I think they have indirectly covered group C & D officials as well and also one single act can now create the lokayuktas in the states — one of the major demands of Team Anna.”

He added, “…let’s have a bill which incorporates at least 75% of their (IAC) recommendations. Let us learn not to be just ideological but also practical.”

Kumar had assured Hazare’s India against Corruption (IAC) in writing at Delhi’s Ramlila grounds in August that he would vote against the government’s draft. The JVM too had tried to nudge the anti-corruption crusade in Jharkhand against the ruling BJP.

Kumar’s post received around 50 comments within two hours. While most comments on his previous posts sing hosannas to the former cop, this time it is a raging debate between those who agree with him and others who accuse him of copping out.

Kumar expressed doubts over the BJP or Anna’s intentions to resolve the dispute over the Lokpal. “Nobody agrees to the CBI being under the Lokpal. Most of us want it to be autonomous. Bringing CBI under the Lokpal is a draconian step. Their (IAC’s) stand that the only right thing is Anna’s way is fascism. Their (IAC’s) attitude is draconian,” he told The Telegraph.

Kumar explained that he had supported Hazare’s Jan Lokpal bill in August, but the government draft had since been revised. “Yet Anna has constantly changed his stand over the inclusion of the PM and then C & D group staff… I feel the RSS is backing him. I have no clue. Hazare is a nice guy, but his movement attacking Aruna Roy, one of the leading voices for a Lokpal, reminds me of the saying about the French Revolution: The revolution devours its children.”

The “super bureaucracy” Hazare’s Jan Lokpal would create, said Kumar, would further disappoint the nation. He added that no bill was perfect. “Even the Constitution has been amended 114 times and so will be this, as it evolves... People using this debate for political gains scares me.”

“On representation of all communities, any fair citizen in my shoes wouldn’t say it is wrong. This is not reservation, just inclusion of a majority of the population, who are underprivileged — SC, ST, backward castes, women and minorities. Would this be wrong?” he asked this paper.

Giving credit to Anna for bringing the Lokpal to Parliament, he added in his post: “Team Anna should not keep mounting pressure to push through a draconian legislation that can defeat the very objective of the anti-corruption movement.”

The JVM’s parting kiss to Anna?

“Fight the corrupt at the block level, and through the RTI, not just Facebook. There’s no walking away from hard work,” Kumar quipped to this reporter.

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