Q&A: Arvind Kejriwal, Civil society activist

Arvind Kejriwal, civil society activist and member of the drafting committee of the Jan Lok Pal Bill, in an interview with Akshat Kaushal, says he is opposed to a weak Lok Pal Bill. Edited excerpts:

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee says the civil society cannot dictate terms to Parliament by setting a deadline for the enactment of the Lok Pal Bill. Are you stepping in the shoes of the legislature?
The parliamentarians cannot become dictators just because they have been elected. They are not paying any attention to what the Opposition is saying. The question is to what extent does the government believe in parliamentary democracy. The government doesn’t have the licence to loot just because they have won the elections.

Will you accept a Lok Pal Bill which does not have the powers to take actions against the prime minister?
We will not accept a weak Bill that would not have the powers to take action against the prime minister. We will continue fighting for a strong Bill.
Pranab Mukherjee has alleged Anna Hazare is backed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). What is your reaction?
It is unfortunate that Pranab Mukherjee is talking like that. It seems he wants to do cheap politics. If he thinks Anna Hazare is backed by the RSS or the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), why doesn’t he give proof of this?

If you find the government’s attitude disappointing, why are you not resigning from the drafting committee?
They want us to get out, but we will continue our fight. We hope the government will listen to us. If the government decides not to listen, we would take to the streets again.

Do you think the government has double standards for activists of the National Advisory Council (NAC) and the Lok Pal Bill?
I don’t want to compare the Lok Pal Bill with the NAC.

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