For two years, Hazare failed to nominate any member to anti-corruption panels


EVEN as activist Anna Hazare succeeded in impressing upon the government to push through a strong Lokpal Bill, an earlier success that movements had wrested seems to be coming to nought, thanks to his own seeming disinterest in the matter. His continuous and persistent follow-ups with the state government since 1997 had resulted in the formation of division, district and taluka level anti-corruption committees.

However, 15 years down the line, such committees seem to have slipped out of Hazare's focus. Documents procured under the RTI Act show that since the last two years, Hazare has failed to nominate members to the committees despite repeated reminders from the administration.

When asked the reason, Hazare said he stopped the appointments after learning that the committees are not functioning properly. A senior aide of the activist said Hazare was told that the meetings of the committees were not held regularly. However, RTI documents show that in Pune and other districts, the meetings were held on a regular basis and complaints received by them.

The committees were formed as per the original Government Resolution (GR) issued in 1997 and since then the state government has issued 11 more GRs regarding the working and composition of the committees. Each GR was preceded by Hazare's threat of agitation about the "weaknesses in the committees" to the government.

As per the latest GR of 2011, there have to be division, district and taluka level committees to curb corrupt practices in governance. Along with government officers and social workers, each of these committees were to have one representative nominated by Hazare. These people were supposed to be of impeccable character and were to represent Hazare in the committees.

However, as RTI documents show, the activist has failed to nominate these members, resulting in 392 vacancies in the committees. Repeated reminders from district collectors with Hazare's office failed to draw any response.

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