CPI rejects questionnaire on Lokpal Bill

New Delhi: The Communist Party of India (CPI) has refused to answer a questionnaire on provisions of Lokpal Bill sent by the government, saying it will state their views and suggestions during the discussion on the issue in Parliament.

In a letter to joint Lokpal Bill drafting committee chairman and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, party general secretary A. B. Bardhan said at no stage were the political parties involved or ever consulted during the entire process of constituting the joint drafting committee.

“You want our party and also other parties to give our views on certain matters raised by you regarding the Jan Lokpal Bill latest by June 6, 2011, because as you say, ‘The joint drafting committee has been given a mandate to complete its work latest by 30th June 2011’ We are not aware who gave the mandate to the joint drafting committee,” he said.

Mr. Bardhan alleged the political parties were deliberately ignored and the CPI did not see how at this stage it was called upon to reply to certain matters, that came up during discussions within the joint drafting committee, to which the party had no access or knowledge.

“Answers are sought by you to some issues in ‘yes’ or ’no’ as in an objective test. We think this is a very casual way of inquiring from us on such an urgent, sensitive and important matter,” he said in the letter.

Emphasising that CPI was very keen about an effective Lokpal Bill, he said, “We insist that such a draft should be brought in the forthcoming Monsoon Session of Parliament. There can be no further delay.”

“We as a political party will most certainly state our views and suggestions during the discussion on the Bill in the Parliament and also say and write about them whenever we find it necessary,” he said.