Kolkata: Launching a broadside against Anna Hazare who has vowed to go on a fast from Tuesday over the Lokpal issue, finance Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday alleged that the activist is “challenging” the Constitution and Parliament authority and such a step is “not acceptable”.
“So far as the Constitution is concerned, it is the state authority to make laws and not a third authority. Nobody can be compelled that a law has to be drafted as per his or her desire. It is for Parliament to decide,” Mukherjee told reporters here.
“And what Anna Hazare is doing is akin to challenging the constitutional authority of Parliament which is not acceptable,” the finance minister said a day after Hazare, who had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention over the conditions imposed for his indefinite fast from 16 August, was snubbed by the PM and told to approach the Delhi Police.
On Hazare’s opposition to the restrictions on his proposed agitation, he said, “We have given a venue to Anna Hazare. It may or may not be liked by him. But the fact of the matter is there are certain places where we do not allow people to come and congregate like the Writers’ Buildings (state secretariat in Kolkata) and the Assembly where (Section) 144 is imposed”.
Reflecting the government’s tough stand on the stir, Mukherjee said, “We shall have to keep in mind that in indefinite hunger strike, the legal connotation of which I do not know, nobody in our society as per our law is allowed to commit suicide. It is the responsibility of the administration to look into these aspects.”
The Delhi Police had asked Hazare to limit his fast programme to three days and restrict the congregation to 5,000, which he criticised and even sought the Prime Minister’s intervention into the issue.
Mukherjee said, “Parliament alone is the competent authority to make laws”.