Anna’s August 16 agitation unjustified: Govt

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Government said on Friday that Anna Hazare’s plan to go on fast from August 16 on Lokpal issue is “unjustified” at this stage, when it is moving forward on the passage of the bill.

“At this stage an extra Parliamentary protest seems unjustified,” Home Minister P Chidambaram said when asked how the government views Hazare’s proposed agitation at a time when the draft bill for Lokpal is being deliberated before the Standing Committee.

Noting that “everybody has a right to protest and the context and circumstances will decide whether the protest was right or not”, Chidamabram said Hazare team’s earlier fast, when the Lokpal bill was not in place, was perhaps right but not now when a bill has already been introduced in Parliament and the government has “moved forward” on it.

Addressing a press briefing of the Group of Ministers on Media, the Union minister said that the government’s draft Lokpal bill will receive many suggestions in the Standing Committee as well as in Parliament from the opposition parties and some of these may also be accommodated.

To another question on whether the government can intervene in case Hazare’s health is affected, the home minister said, “Certainly, if anyone’s life is in danger, the government has not only a duty but a right to intervene.”

He was, however quick to add that the statement was not in context of Hazare but a general one.

To queries about the delay in permission to Hazare to hold fast and how the government intends to tackle the stir, the home minister said that the matter rests with Delhi police commissioner and the government was “not tackling or pushing any one”.

“I think we are jumping the gun. He wants to have a protest fast and has applied for permission before the Delhi Police. The application is under process. Police commissioner has to decide. See what he decides,” he said.



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