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Anna seeks a fresh law to empower Gram Sabha

New Delhi, Fri, 27 Jan 2012 NI Wire

Social Activists and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare, after rehabilitating from his poor health condition on Thursday have struck once again against the government and have asked a fresh demand of empowering the gram sabhas (Village Committees) over the Parliament Houses in order to create the true democracy in India.

"Lok Sabha thinks it is above everyone. This is wrong. People have made you. So they are above you... It is the sacred temple of democracy. In such a sacred place, what has happened in Rajya Sabha in the last day (of the Winter Session) on Lokpal Bill," said Anna Hazare via a pre-recorded video speech launched at Team Anna's seminar on 'Rebuilding the Republic' in the capital on the occasion of Republic Day.

Expressing fury over the members of parliaments, who allegedly behaved different what they had pledged to team Anna, Anna said, "97 amendments were introduced by opposition. Their speeches were different from the amendments they moved. The ruling party had the majority and they did what they wanted. Was it just a formality? Was it just a show?"

Criticizing the government for misusing the power of administration, Anna said in his 30-minute speech, "Parliament has become hostage to ruling party rather than ruling party being accountable to Parliament. This situation of ruling party High Command becoming virtual kings is dangerous."

To prevent the country and common man from the looters (what did he allege the MPs) he asked to empower gram sabhas.

"We the masters were sleeping when the servants were looting our treasuries," he said.

Warning to government for not making a strong law for empowering the gram sabhas, Anna stated, "Now we have awakened. If the government does not bring a law, we will have to organise an agitation similar to the August 16 (Ramlila Maidan) agitation for a strong Lokpal Bill."

Giving the reason to empowering the gram sabhas, Anna argued, "The elected members were giving their views on their own. They did not think what the common men want?"

Comparing the current governance to British period ruling, Anna said that the government does not take the consent of the common people while making laws for them.

Giving an example of government's land acquisition policy for making Special Economic Zones (SEZs) Anna cited that land owners in the villages did not know when did the government acquire their land straightaway without their permission?

Stating common man master of the democracy, Anna said, "We sent them as our servants but they are behaving like our masters...The laws being made are weak because you are not consulting the masters."

"Assemblies and Lok Sabha think that they are above gram sabhas. But gram sabhas are above you. We need a new law which gives such a power to gram sabhas," he added.

Team Anna member Shanti Bhushan in his address to the assembled people said, "To bridge the gap, a people's movement is needed and its bugle has been sounded."

He asked people to continue a peace movement for asking to bring a fresh law that can empower to gram sabahs.

"There will be a peaceful movement that will stretch to the nook and corner of the country," he said.

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