NEW DELHI, June 13 � Civil society led by Anna Hazare today hit back at the government over the charge that it was undermining the Parliament and Constitution and asked why an �honest� man like Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is �scared� of being investigated by the Lokpal, reports PTI.
Two days ahead of the next meeting of the joint drafting committee on Lokpal Bill, civil society members shot off a letter to Singh alleging that the government appeared to be shrinking the scope of the anti-corruption regime and non-inclusion of the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal would be a �retrograde� step.
Raising their pitch on the issue, the activists also took on Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for accusing the civil society of trying to undermine democracy and said his statement betrayed a �distorted understanding of democracy and arrogance of power�.
�You are one of the most honest Prime Ministers the country has had. It is ironical that your own government should seek to take the Prime Minister out of the purview of Lokpal�s investigations.
�We are wondering what happened post-March 2011, which prompted the government to suddenly take a U-turn on this issue. Till now the Prime Minister could be investigated by the CBI. Why an honest Prime Minister like you should be scared of being investigated by an independent Lokpal,� the activists said in the three-page letter to Singh.
Activist Arvind Kejriwal termed the government insistence on non-inclusion of the Prime Minister under the purview of Lokpal as �completely mysterious� when governments for the past ten years were of the view that this post should come under the ombudsman.
Meanwhile, Hazare today accused the office-bearers of Congress and Union ministers of intentionally �defaming� the Lokpal movement.
�They (the government) making a lot of allegations, including the so-called hidden support and political agenda designed by RSS and BJP, is a sheer humiliation of sentiments of common Indians. They are trying to demoralise and confuse agitators fighting against corruption and this proves insensitivity of government,� Hazare told PTI at Ahmednagar in Maharastra.
Hazare also said that he had written a letter to Sonia Gandhi to draw her attention towards the �mudslinging� ahead of the next meeting of the Joint Drafting Committee on Lokpal Bill in Delhi.