Saturday, April 23, 2011

Khurshid rules out changes in Lokpal committee

NEW DELHI: Amid roiling controversy overLokpal Bill drafting committee members, Union minister Salman Khurshid on Saturday ruled out any changes in the panel and said the government is looking forward to receiving inputs from Justice Santosh Hegde on the bill. 

"I value his (Hegde) contributions enormously and hold high respect for him. I hope he will be able to be with us. We want his contributions. We (government) are looking forward to having his inputs and we sincerely hope so," Khurshid, who is a part of the 10-member committee, told reporters here. 

Replying to a question whether there would be changes in the committee, he said "there is no question of changing the committee members." 

Upset over "vilification campaign", Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Hegde, had said in Bangalore that he was thinking of resigning but he would consult his colleagues in the anti-corruption movement in Delhi and take a decision on the issue today. 

He was angry that Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh had attacked him that he was protecting Karnataka chief minister from corruption charges. 

"Let us examine the bill on its merit, rather than discussing the characters of people," Khurshid said on the sidelines of a function. 

About allegations on Hegde, he said, "We are neither endorsing anyone nor speaking against anyone. We are not concerned about anything beyond the committee." 

Khurshid said, "I, alongwith other nine colleagues are concerned about forming a good bill...we will not be distracted by any controversies or claims outside the committee. These are independent matters (the Bhushan CD-controversy) and apart from what we are doing in the committee." 

Asked about Uttar Pradesh Mayawati's demand for inclusion of an "apolitical scheduled caste member" in the committee, he said, "we should trust the ten members. Let them present their product...we should give them a chance. After the product comes out, we can see and examine it and put forth our objections if any."

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