Welcome move to public Lokpal tap

Ralegan Siddhi/New Delhi: Anna Hazare on Sunday night welcomed Government`s move to make public the audio recordings of proceedings of the Joint Drafting Committee constituted to draft the Lokpal Bill.

Congress on its part said the government was not under `any pressure` to bring out the deliberations of the Committee in public domain.

Hazare, the 74-year-old anti-corruption crusader, said the Government move will lead to more transparency and build up the public confidence in the Government.

A key Team Anna member Santosh Hegde however voiced apprehensions whether the CDs containing the recordings will be edited. He said the Government decision was "belated."

Hazare in his response from his native Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra said, "It is a good thing. Transparency should always be there. If more transparency is there, public confidence will build up. So this Government`s decision is good."

The Committee held seven meetings over a period of two-and-a-half months.

The Gandhian recalled that Team Anna had made a request to the Government for video recording of the proceedings but it was turned down.

Congress spokesman Rashid Alvi said, "We should appreciate the decision of the Government People will come to know about our stand and their (Team Anna) stand,"

"We did not do it under pressure," he added. Hegde appeared to raise questions at what he called a "sudden belated" decision by the Government.

He said that as per his information the CDs may feature only the edited version of the proceedings.

"Whether the CDs are genuinely edited or deliberately edited, we can find out," he added.

"My only problem is if they edit and do it in a manner which is not in the larger interest of conversation between the two groups then that will create some controversy," he said.

Kiran Bedi, another key Team Anna member, wanted the Government to make available the transcript of the proceedings and actually publish it on its website.

"It will be good to have the script…We will exactly know what was said and done," she said.