Santosh Hegde calls PM-Lokpal issue a red herring

Santosh Hegde, Karnataka Lokayukta and one of five people representing the people’s movement against corruption on the Lokpal panel, has again reiterated his stand that the issue of the Prime Minister’s inclusion under the Lokpal may be a diversion tactic.

He pointed out that the way the Congress and the Government have suddenly highlighted the issue of including the Prime Minister leads him to suspect their motives. He pointed out that there are six, and not one, points of differences between the two sides.

“According to me, it is a red herring.. There are six points of differences. They have making a big deal of it when we included it in our draft. It was always there in their draft. All discussion is now focused on the PM,” he said.

Hegde also said he wants Anna Hazare, the leader of the people’s coalition, to tour the country and consolidate the movement, before starting his fast. “It is my suggestion.. He enjoys tremendous ground support,” he pointed out.

Hegde said he will not be present in today’s meeting with the government, but will arrive in Delhi today evening and participate in the deliberations tomorrow.

He was also suspicious of the Government’s motive in calling for the all-party meeting on including the PM under the Lokpal, a move that has been officially welcomed by the Anna panel. He, nevertheless, pointed out that the Government’s new-found enthusiasm for including other political parties in the drafting process may be just a delaying tactic.

Anna, meanwhile, said he is open to touring the country before undertaking the fast. “If the others think I need to tour, I shall,” he said.


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