BANGALORE: Former Lokayukta of Karnataka, Justice Santosh Hegde on Monday, reiterated that the India Against Corruption (IAC) campaign led by Anna Hazare was very much alive. “The government will have to pass the bill in this session. They have felt the heat and if they delay again, our protests will get bigger,” warned Hegde.
He was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a book release function in the city.
Responding to the reported rift among the key members of the IAC campaign, Justice Hegde said that his absence from meetings must not be construed as a rift.
“I am in touch with the campaign by other means. I cannot travel all the time. There is no rift,” he said, adding that IAC must also look at joining hands with other people fighting corruption like Baba Ramdev.
“We must welcome everyone who is honest and wants to join in the fight against corruption. It is a serious issue,” Hegde said.
He put forward his views on the Lokpal issue, and stated that he thought some sort of Lokpal must be instituted first. Stressing that this was not a desperate attempt to reach a compromise, he said that suggestions for improvement could be made later. “Even the constitution had many amendments. We can make suggestions to improve and strengthen the Lokpal office once it is instituted,” he said.
About the book
Speaking about the book, ‘Anna- 13 Days That Awakened India’ by noted journalist Ashutosh, Justice Hegde said that the book gave many glimpses into aspects of the campaign that he was previously unaware of. “For example the first fast that Anna Hazare planned on April 1 (2011). It was postponed to April 5 in order to avoid confusion with All Fools Day and the impending cricket World Cup finals on April 4,” he said. “If Ashutosh could translate the book into regional languages it would benefit a large amount of people. Anna encouraged the sleeping class of people to take to the streets to demand what is rightfully theirs. He is greater than our elected leaders,” Justice Hegde added.
Also, he supported the recommendations of the Supreme Court appointed Central Empowered Committee to order a CBI inquiry into cases involving former CM B S Yeddyurappa’s relatives.