Soon, Congressmen to get Lokpal Bill ready reckoner
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Team Anna may not be campaigning against the Congress in the run-up to the key BMC polls in February, but the party is taking no chances on the Lokpal Bill issue. Once campaign literature is released, party activists at all street corner meetings and undertaking door-to-door visits will have a pocket-sized ready reckoner on the Lokpal Bill.
Listing key questions that party workers may find themselves in a sticky spot to answer, the booklet raises the issue of bringing the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal and says one suggestion has been to wait until a PM's term ends to investigate allegations of corruption, or to bring the PM under Lokpal but leave out areas of his work concerning international relations and national security.
It also points out that if a PM's image is tarnished, it could have economic, political and international ramifications, reaffirming the well-known position of the party on the controversial legislation.
Being drafted by party spokesperson Anant Gadgil, who also designed a pocket-sized booklet of various scams unearthed during the NDA rule at the time of the 2004 general elections, the Lokpal ready reckoner is currently being given final touches. "The booklet we brought out during the 2004 elections became hugely popular and we went for a massive reprint. Activists could just use it as ready reference on all the points we wanted to highlight," said Gadgil.
On the role of the Congress, the booklet will state that Sonia Gandhi had been instrumental in enacting the Right to Information law, the first step towards transparent governance.
"Lokpal or Jan Lokpal?" To that, the draft asks citizens to decide whether that decision should be left to the Members of Parliament elected by a hundred crore people or to the four-five activists' version of the Jan Lokpal.
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