Press Statement
Leaders of nine political parties, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India, All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal (S), Rashtriya Lok Dal, All India Forward Bloc and Revolutionary Socialist Party met in New Delhi on August 19 2011. They have issued the following statement:
Observe All India Protest Day on August 23
The leaders of the nine political parties noted that the UPA government has not taken any serious steps to curb high level corruption. The Lokpal Bill introduced by the government in parliament is weak and inadequate. Such a legislation will not establish a strong Lokpal authority. The nine political parties demanded that an effective Lokpal law be prepared and adopted.
Along with the Lokpal law, there are certain immediate measures to be taken to curb corruption. They include a new Judicial Accountability law which will also constitute a National Judicial Commission; electoral law reforms to curb money power and criminality in politics; firm steps to unearth black money and bring back the illegal money stashed abroad.
The meeting condemned the arrest of Anna Hazare and his colleagues in order to prevent their hunger strike. This is an attack on the democratic rights of citizens to conduct peaceful protests. There are increasing restrictions on the right to assemble and the right to conduct protests in Delhi and all over the country. The nine political parties demanded lifting of curbs on the right to protest and protection of democratic rights.
The meeting decided to call for an all India protest day to be observed on August 23 to demand effective measures against corruption including a strong Lokpal. The countrywide protest will also demand the protection of democratic rights and the right to conduct peaceful protests.
On August 23, all over the country, the nine political parties will organize demonstrations and dharnas in all state capitals and district headquarters.
The meeting was attended by H.D. Deve Gowda, Chandrababu Naidu, Prakash Karat, A B Bardhan, Ajit Singh, Thambidurai, Debabrata Biswas, Bhartruhari Mahtab, Abani Roy, Sitaram Yechury, S. Sudhakar Reddy, D Raja, Nama Nageshwar Rao and others.