Parliament supreme, no one can dictate: Pranab

Pranab Mukherjee

The government abandoned the last pretensions of amicable cooperation with Anna Hazare's activists on the Lokpal Bill this evening. Pranab Mukherjee, chairman of the joint drafting committee for the Bill, decried the civil society agitation as an attack on the Constitution, and accused Hazare of subverting democracy.

Mukherjee also rejected Hazare's demand for videotaping the meetings of the joint drafting committee, and said no deadlines could be set on when parliament might pass the Lokpal Bill.

During his one-day fast at Rajghat on June 8, Hazare had said he would begin a new agitation if the Bill was not passed by August 15.

"Today we are being threatened that by August 15 the Bill needs to be passed or else there will be fast unto death. It is Parliament's right to decide on bills and legislations," Mukherjee told a press conference here.

The government, he said, would try to introduce the Bill in the monsoon session, but "nobody can give a guarantee as to how long Parliament is going to take to pass the Bill or when it will be passed. Parliament is Supreme."

The civil society agitation against the government amounted to a "sinister move of destroying the fine balance between the three organs of government enshrined in our Constitution", Mukherjee said.

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