No party wanted Lokpal Bill passed in RS: Hegde
"According to me, it did not give any indication that any side, anybody wanted the bill to be passed in the session at all. Everybody stood to gain…everybody who is in politics" he said. In the context of coming Assembly elections, the former Supreme Court Judge said, "Now Congress can say we introduced but the oppositions did not allow; some other political party will say that deliberately a weak bill was introduced and so we opposed it and all."
"Who is the winner? Political parties. I am not saying any single party," he said. He referred to various issues such as amendments, divergent stand taken by different parties, members talking longer than the time allotted for them and Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourning the House sine die abruptly. "What does an ordinary common man with ordinary common sense make out of this?"
"Parliament is the institution they call supreme institution in law making," Hegde said. Hegde said had the bill been passed, it could have been made stronger in the coming years. For those who started the agitation for Lokpal, it`s a "very, very saddening day". He said the outcome of the assembly elections in five states would be an indicator as to how the people have taken the anti-corruption movement and the Lokpal Bill.
"If at all there is some reaction in (five) state elections…positive reaction…for Lokpal, that might again start (the demand for strong and effective Lokpal). "It (poll results) will be an indicator as to how the people of India have taken to Lokpal," he said. He said the Lokpal bill gained some amount of importance as five states were to go to polls shortly. Referring to the Government`s position that the bill would be taken up for consideration in the budget session, Hegde said, "It`s a long way between January and March."
"Importance of the bill will be lost as there are no further elections in the states for some time to come," he said. While momentum for anti-corruption movement and Lokpal would not be lost as people would continue to agitate, it "will not be in the same manner as it was done earlier," he added.