The government may have blinked at the height of the anti-corruption protests in April when it agreed to various conditions put forth by activists on the Lokpal Bill. But the time for submitting to the voice of the streets is over, it seems. Tenacious battles are being fought in the drafting committee that’s trying to come up with the fine print of the legislation.
The government is blocking the inclusion of the Prime Minister, members of the higher judiciary and the actions of members of Parliament inside the House in the legislation. That leaves gaps through which vast amount of money can be siphoned out without anyone getting caught and being punished. Or so the argument goes. If push comes to shove, the activists can always threaten to take to the streets again. But then, recreating the momentum of April may not be all that easy. That could be something the government is counting on. And a good monsoon could also keep prices and public anger in check.