When Anna showed his satisfaction with the current draft of the Lokpal bill, which still has many flaws and needs amendment, he let Rahul have an upper hand. But by exchanging letters with Rahul and ‘œthanking’ him for his efforts, Anna let the issue go out of his hand completely.
The bonhomie between anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare and Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi seems to be growing. Recent in this new-found friendship is another letter by Anna to Rahul in which he has welcomed latter’s “commitment” to get the Lokpal bill passed.
Being a good boy, Rahul has curtly replied saying that his party was “committed to provide an effective Lokpal”.
The letters by Anna and Rahul were released by the Congress party on Tuesday ahead of a debate on the Lokpal bill in the Rajya Sabha.
In his letter to Rahul written on Sunday, Anna had said: “I welcome your commitment to passing the Lokpal and Lokayuktas bill in parliament. My request is that the issues which have been endorsed and recommended by the select committee on the bill are included in it.”
“These points have been decided with consensus by all political parties who were part of the select committee,” he had said.
Anna had also noted that if parliament makes an effort to improve the bill by including more effective suggestions, it will be in the interest of the common man. “People of the country are waiting for an effective Lokpal,” he had written.
He had sent copies of the letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Minister of State for Personnel V. Narayanasamy and the chairman of the select committee of the Rajya Sabha, which went into the Lokpal issue.
Rahul had responded to Anna on Monday, saying it has given him “great encouragement”.
“All of us are committed to provide people of this country an effective and strongest possible Lokpal system. We respect your role in this endeavour and are very grateful to you for your support,” he had written.
The debate over Lokpal is ongoing in the Rajya Sabha but the real limelight has been taken by Rahul Gandhi.
It should be noted that Rahul had addressed a rare press conference with bigwigs like P Chidamabaram and Kapil Sibal on Lokpal issue soon after it lost to BJP in four states’ assembly elections. In the conference only it had become clear that Rahul was trying to save the Congress from falling by speaking on the lines of popular sentiments.
“Hum bilkul finishing line par hai (We are at the finish line),” Rahul had said and pointed out that political parties had a unique opportunity to pass the Lokpal bill hanging fire since 2011. “This bill is needed. This bill will help India,” he had said seeking support from political parties in what easily marked Congress’s most emphatic backing for the move to set up the anti-corruption ombudsman.
In his move to seek political copyright over the bill, Rahul had smartly urged people to cut across the party lines and help in passing it in the parliament. The press conference can be called a mere gimmick as no party, including opposition BJP, was against the bill and had pledged support to it. It was only Congress ally Samajwadi party which was, and is, against the bill.
When Anna showed his satisfaction with the current draft of the Lokpal bill, which still has many flaws and needs amendment, he let Rahul have an upper hand. But by exchanging letters with Rahul and “thanking” him for his efforts, Anna let the issue go out of his hand completely.
Now Rahul owns the issue virtually and passing of Lokpal will be credited in his good books.