Will Lokpal Battle End with a Good New Year Gift to Nation?

The whole country is agog with the every hour changing news and rumour on the Lokpal Bill. Congress by its continuously vacillating stands over last few months has raised the political pitch of the parties in oppositions as well as the leaders of civil society. After losing the wickets of Kapil Sibal and Chidambaram, Manmohan and Khurshid and some other Congress leaders took the guard at different times expressing many varying views on the Bill without any cohesive and rationally evolved stand that was expected by the people watching the progress. Perhaps this bill after waiting for more than four decades to be taken up by the parliament and getting cleared will create a record of its own at least if we go by the mass of people that got involved in it because of Anna.

In last few days, Congress and the government appears to be totally confused. News regarding the extension of the parliament session and then denial of that kept on coming. The all party meeting introduced the issue of reservation. Then the government wanted to go for a bill giving Lokpal a constitutional authority. The people took these as delaying tactics. And on December 21 after keeping mum for all these days, Sonia Gandhi called the Congress parliamentarians to get ready for the battle on Lokpal with Anna and opposition claiming that her party has done the maximum to take action against corruption with a path breaking bill, while Anna Team remains totally dissatisfied calling it heartbreaking. However, the leaders of major opposition party kept on trying with Pranab Mukherji to salvage the situation to present a strong Lokpal Bill In the parliament. With the entry of Yadavas, it’s doubtful if Pranab would succeed with a consensual solution.

Manmohan Team has gone on for its one up man ship. While the Anna Team was asking for a comprehensive Lokpal Bill, the cabinet decided on three bills related to judicial accountability, protection of whistle-blowers and a citizens’ charter for delivery of services to signal its intent to improve governance and tackle corruption.Then Aruna Roy comes out and expresses her opposition to take Citizen’s charter and grievance redressal under Lokpal bill as demanded by Anna. And the government has already tabled the bill independently before the Lokpal Bill. Why does the Congress try to appear to present itself superior to Anna?

Why do Congress and its government resort to this one-up man ship? Why does Manmohan’s government keep on portraying itself more serious than Anna for controlling the corruption and also more concerned than Advani to act against black money so openly to appear silly?

It’s surprising that any change in the government’s bill leaks to Anna Team, media and major opposition before it reaches MPs and they react. Is this the way to operate in parliamentary democracy?

If we go by the reactions of Yadavas of North, the next few days will be full with drama and media will cash on it by providing good political entertainment for its customers. However, it is doubtful if the nation gets a strong Lokpal after the battle cry from Sonia.

I only hope the good sense to prevail so that the nation gets an effective Lokpal Bill as the New Year’s Gift.

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