Varun offers house to Anna for protests

With the Delhi Police denying permission for Anna Hazare's month-long protest at Jantar Mantar, BJP MP Varun Gandhi today offered him his official residence at 125 South Avenue here.

Stating that the "refusal of permission for a public demonstration" is "indicative of an elected government's readiness to wage war with its own electorate over the Lokpal institution," Varun said "if the government does not offer a public place for Anna Hazare's fast, I am proud to offer him my house and official residence as MP and I hope he will avail of the offer."

Praising Hazare, the Pilibhit MP said his proposed agitation was a "pro-India initiative". He said Hazare "is not just a man. He is a movement, a way towards honesty and accountability, a way towards a clean and prosperous India."

While the BJP had supported Hazare's earlier campaign at Jantar Mantar, it did not agree with many of the suggestions made by his team in their version of the Jan Lokpal Bill. For instance, it did not favour inclusion of the higher judiciary under the ambit of the Lokpal.

At the same time, the BJP opposed the Bill introduced by the government mainly because it excluded the Prime Minister from its ambit. The main Opposition party had also argued that the selection of the Lokpal panel, as proposed in the Bill, was loaded in favour of the government, and slammed the suggested eligibility criteria and removal mechanism.

"Here we have the Jan Lokpal Bill which seeks accountability at the Centre from the minister downwards, a uniform set of principles for all states, and insulates the office from political pulls and pressures. On the other hand, we have the government's Lokpal Bill that not only excludes the most powerful from its purview, but does not lay down a uniform moral code for the country, and also threatens greater action against the accuser than the accused," said Varun today.

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