Taking a dig at the debate held at the Jantar Mantar here by Anna Hazare's team, Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar said on Monday that the Parliament was the supreme decision making body and it can merely take into account the views expressed by the people, adding that no one can dictate terms to it.
Talking to media persons in New Delhi, Pawar said that Team Anna had the right to express their views on the anti-graft bill, but it was the prerogative of the Parliament to determine whether to incorporate those views in the bill or not.
"Everyone has a right to state his or her view. The Parliament as a decision making body has to decide whether the opinions are correct or not, and whether those opinions are for the good of the nation. If someone orders the Parliament and tells them that what we say is correct then I don't think the Parliament will take it seriously. The Parliament is the place where concluding discussions happen and where all final decisions will be taken," Pawar added.
However, Pawar said that he did not receive any invitation from Team Anna to come and participate in the debate on the Lokpal Bill.
"No one called us there (Jantar Mantar, venue for Anna Hazare''s fast). People from the media had asked in my office also, but we did not get any invitation as I said. Nevertheless it's ok. It will be discussed in the Parliament. Earlier too, the prime minister had asked for the opinion of all political parties, including ours. So we will definitely participate in the parliamentary debate," said Pawar.
On Sunday, Hazare observed a daylong protest fast in New Delhi to pressurise the government for passing a strong Lokpal bill in the ongoing Winter session of Parliament.
Hazare had invited leaders from all major political parties to come and speak on the issue.
The 74-year-old social activist has also warned the government that he would sit on an indefinite fast from December 27 at the Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi if a strong Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament.
The Lokpal Bill is seen as a weapon to root out corruption and nepotism from the government machinery and in public life.
The proposed Bill envisages the setting up of a national anti-corruption watchdog to check financial mismanagement and corrupt practices that have deeply pervaded several democratic and civic institutions of India.
Hazare had staged an indefinite hunger strike against graft that he gave up on August 28 when the government agreed to deliberate the issues raised by him and his forum vis-a-vis the passage and enactment of the Lokpal Bill, a suggestion that has received unprecedented nationwide backing.