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People first, then elected government: Agnivesh

Last updated on: June 13, 2011 09:39 IST

People first, then elected government: Agnivesh

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Onkar Singh in New Delhi

Swami Agnivesh has questioned the statement of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the chairman of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee, that nobody can dictate terms to Parliament, the highest constitutional body that governs the country.

Agnivesh quoted the premable of the Constitution of India to prove his point.

"The first part of the preamble 'We, the people of India' and, its last part 'give to ourselves this Constitution' clearly indicates the democratic spirit involved even in the Constitution," Agnivesh told rediff.com.

"India is a democracy. The people of India elect their governments at all levels (Union, State and local) by a system of universal adult suffrage; popularly known as 'one man one vote'. Every citizen of India, who is 18 years of age and above and not otherwise debarred by law, is entitled to vote. Every citizen enjoys this right without any discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, colour, sex, religion or education," he said.

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Agnivesh regretted Pranab's claim that if someone had five or six thousand people on his side he could didctate terms. 

"There may have been five to six thousand people at Jantar Mantar, but what about thousands and lakhs of people who took out processions in support of Anna Hazare's movement on bringing the office of the Prime Minister and judiciary under Lokpal's ambit," he said.

"Anna Hazare is hurt by the smear campaign launched against him by those who do not wish to fight corruption. That is why he wrote a letter to Sonia Gandhi. It is not proper for a person of the stature of Pranab to unleash such campaign against a Gandhian," he added.

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