Disapproving of Anna Hazare’s hunger strike, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said democratic processes should not be weakened by “individual dictates” which could set dangerous precedent and rejected the belief that Lokpal alone would eradicate corruption.
Breaking his silence, he said a political will and a comprehensive framework would be required to fight the menace and suggested a “game changing idea” of creating a Constitutional institution of Lokpal like the Election Commission accountable to Parliament.
Gandhi, speaking during Zero Hour in Lok Sabha, agreed that “corruption is pervasive” which operates at “every level” but warned that there was a “risk” that an unaccountable Lokpal “might itself become corrupt”.Referring to the anti-corruption campaign of Hazare, he said it has “helped the people to articulate” their disillusionment and “I thank him for that”.
At the same time, he warned “individual dictates, no matter how well-intentioned, must not weaken the democratic process.
A tactical incursion, divorced from the machinery of an elected government that seeks to undo the checks and balances created to protect the supremacy of Parliament sets a dangerous precedent for a democracy.
“Today, the proposed law is against corruption. Tomorrow, the target may be something less universally heralded. It may attack the plurality of our society and democracy.”
As his sister Priyanka watched from the visitors’ gallery, Gandhi’s speech was disrupted by NDA members, protesting against his making a statement on the issue during Zero Hour.
This triggered heated exchanges with Congress members shouting back. Speaker Meira Kumar ruled that she had allowed Gandhi to speak, after which he continued his speech