A day before the joint drafting committee’s next meeting on Lokpal legislation, Congress tried to consolidate other political parties against Team Anna, saying outfits across the ideological spectrum, BJP or Left, believed in democracy even as it slammed Anna Hazare as “anti-democracy”.
AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi said, “Whether it is Congress or BJP or Left, they contest elections and have a vision about the system.”
Referring to Hazare, he said the system had an ideology and the system could not run if someone, whose ideology was not known, started making demands and tried to impose his views.
The Congress statement clubbing itself with staunch rivals BJP and Left, who incidentally are targeting the government for corruption, appeared laden with political significance.
Observers saw it as an attempt to rally the political class against civil society. Even BJP and Left have been chaffing at the ‘holier than thou’ attitude of civil society members who have been slamming the entire political class as corrupt.
“If they are civil society, who are we, uncivil society?” CPM leader Sitaram Yechury asked.
After hitting at Team Anna and calling them unelected and unelectable, the Congress argued that only Parliament and assemblies were the right forum to debate and legislate.
The party said it was undemocratic when one person tried to impose his view on everybody. “This cannot go on that any person rises and starts dictating that this should happen and this should not,” Dwivedi said, emphasizing that in a democracy, decisions would be taken only through public opinion.
He added that the debate on what legislation should or should not be made could take place “only in Parliament and Assemblies” which represented people and were elected bodies.
Congress leaders urged that people should put aside their “personal egos” to work in national interest, saying that government’s generosity was being misused.
The party also said there was nothing wrong in what finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said about civil society. “What will happen if some civil society members say they do not accept results of recent assembly polls in five states? Democracy cannot function in an arbitrary manner,” Dwivedi said, adding there was a way in which democracy could function and there was a process for taking decisions.