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Anna and govt are killing democracy: Hegde

Last updated on: August 26, 2011 16:37 IST

Anna and govt are killing democracy: Hegde

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Vicky Nanjappa

Member of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal bill, N Santosh Hegde, on Friday strongly disapproved of Anna Hazare's insistence on "having his way" in Parliament and sought to make out a case for ending his fast even while continuing the anti-corruption fight.

Hegde, a former Supreme Court judge who has emerged as the face of anti-corruption crusade in Karnataka, said the demand that "my dictum should be accepted by  Parliament" is, in fact, demeaning to the Lok Sabha.

"I feel I am not in Team Anna any more by the way things are going. These (telling Parliament what to do) are not democratic things," Hegde, who till recently served as Karnataka Lokayukta, told mediapersons.

"I can't justify these things that you give command to Parliament. No (it should not be done)," he said. "I have been a judge and I believe in certain democratic principles. And to me, it's very difficult to digest," he said.

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Additional Inputs: PTI


Image: N Santosh Hegde

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'I believe in certain democratic principles'

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Hegde said after the exercise of joint drafting of the bill failed, "we (Team Anna) said you (the Government) send ours (our version of the bill) also together with the government version and place it before Parliament.

"Beyond that, I will not go further," he said. Stressing that the fast should be separated from the fight against corruption, Hegde said the struggle against graft should go on. Hazare should give up his fast, he added.

He also said that he has no hope that something constructive would come out of this entire exercise.

Talking to rediff.com, Justice Hegde said: "I am sitting in Bengaluru and watching the proceedings every day, but I know for a fact that nothing really will come out of this entire excericse. I just feel very sorry that the government is making a fool out of everyone. My heart goes out to Anna Hazare; I am very unhappy with the manner in which they have been treating him."

"What none of them get is that the government has been doing this ever since the drafting panel was set up. I have seen this drama play out each time and today nothing different is happening. They are giving Anna Hazare false promises and hence I cannot trust this government one bit."

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Image: Anna Hazare with close aides Kiran Bedi and Swami Agnivesh

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'The Congress is playing a game'

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Justice Hegde also took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.

"Rahul Gandhi may have made the right comments today, but what will be the end result, I really do not know. Sometimes, I think these are mere statements. However, I feel that he needs more maturity in politics because when he says things like such protests are dangerous, then I would not agree with the same." 

"What does he mean when he says that such protests are dangerous to democracy? Let me remind them that it is the Congress party which had started such protests in the first place. I have constantly urged Anna Hazare to call off his fast."

Attacking Hazare and the government in the same tone, he said "both are practically killing democracy." The government makes promises and comes out of it later.

"Party (Congress) in power is playing a game. You never know what exactly will happen in Parliament," he remarked even as he did not mince words against Hazare for trying to "compel" Parliament on "what it should do."

"I am finding it extremely difficult to digest (on Hazare's insistence vis-a-vis what Parliament should do," Hegde added.


Image: Anna Hazare
Photographs: Reuters
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