The Congress on Sunday launched a campaign to counter the anti—graft movement by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev and accused a section of civil society of trying to weaken democratic institutions.

“The Constitution has given the power to legislate only to Parliament and the state Assemblies. If 5,000 or 6,000 people dictate from outside what the Parliament ought to do, this will weaken democracy,” Finance Minister, Mr Pranab Mukherjee, told a press conference.

Mr Mukherjee, who released a document in English containing his party’s views on the issue, said the Congress was launching an awareness campaign all over the country.

“The documents will be made available in other languages. Debates, discussions and seminars would be organised right from the district to the block levels to put forth our views,” he said.

Referring to Hazare’s deadline of August 15 for passing the Lokpal Bill, Mr Mukherjee said the Centre had suggested that the Lok Pal Bill would be placed during the monsoon session of the Parliament.

It was not possible, however, to give a timeframe by when the bill would be passed, he said.

(This article was published on June 12, 2011)
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