NEW DELHI, Aug 20 (IANS): As Anna Hazare continued his protest fast, a parliamentary standing committee Saturday invited public suggestions on the Lokpal Bill. Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal dismissed it as an attention diverting tactic.
The parliamentary standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice, which is to suggest amendments to the Lokpal Bill, published advertisements in leading newspapers, seeking ideas and suggestions on the bill.
"The committee has decided to invite memoranda containing views/suggestions from individuals, organisations interested in the subject matter of the bill and also hear select oral evidence on the subject matter of the bill," the advertisement said.
A time limit of 15 days starting Saturday has been given to send suggestions.
Chairman of the committee, Congress MP Abhishek Manu Singhvi, said the suggestions will be looked into by the committee.
"We have sent an advertisement for all interested to give their frank, open, unbiased views (on the Lokpal bill). Within manageable limits, we will go through all the suggestions and everything will be looked into," Singhvi said.
He said the civil society members were also invited to give their suggestions. "We had invited the civil society members as early as 10th of Aug."
The step is being seen as an attempt to counter the protesting activists who have claimed that public opinion is against the Lokpal Bill introduced by the government.
Team Anna however rejected the call as an attempt to divert attention.
"As far as calling the feedback is concerned it is not a referendum also. If the government does any referendum, the government bill will be totally trashed by the people. This is simply diverting attention," Kejriwal told IANS.
The civil society members have urged the parliamentary standing committee to reject the bill.
"We requested the standing committee to completely reject the bill and send it back to the government because there is no time for the standing committee and parliament to waste their precious time in discussing a totally wrong bill," he said.