Anna's attempt to impose Jan Lokpal Bill is totally misconceived: PM

K.R. Srivats New Delhi | Updated on August 17, 2011 Published on August 17, 2011

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh. (file photo)   -  The Hindu

The Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, today made a fervent plea to all political parties to ensure smooth functioning of Parliament and asserted the supremacy of Parliament to enact laws, including the one to combat corruption.

“I am not aware of any constitutional philosophy or principle that allows anyone to question the sole prerogative of Parliament to make a law. In making a law on Lokpal, the Government has faithfully adhered to the well-settled principles. As far as I am able to gather, Mr Anna Hazare questions these principles and claims a right to impose his Jan Lokpal Bill upon Parliament,’’ Dr Manmohan Singh said in an identical statement made in both Houses.

The Prime Minister said that Mr Hazare and others would get opportunities to present their views to the Standing Committee to which the Lokpal Bill has been referred. The Standing Committee as well as Parliament can modify the Bill if they so desire, he said.

However, the path chosen by Mr Hazare to impose his draft of a Bill upon Parliament is totally misconceived and fraught with grave consequences for India’s parliamentary democracy, he added.

Stating that there was no substitute for “Government and its processes and Parliament and its processes’’, Dr Manmohan Singh noted that “if some people do not agree with our policy, there will be a time when they will have an opportunity to present their points of view to the people of India.’’

The Prime Minister highlighted that very important legislative measures were required to be passed. “If we do not pass them, we will do great injustice to the people of India and in turn hurt the ‘aam admi’.’’

He also stressed the need to push ahead with economic progress for the upliftment of the ‘aam admi’. “India is an emerging economy. We are now emerging as one of the important players on the world stage. There are many forces that would not like to see India realise its true place in the comity of nations. We must not play into their hands. We must not create an environment in which our economic progress is hijacked by internal dissention,’’ he said.

Published on August 17, 2011
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