New Delhi, Aug 14: Stepping up its attack on social activist Anna Hazare who has threatened to go on an indefinite fast from Aug 16 to push for a stronger Lokpal bill, the government said Sunday the right to protest was not an absolute right.
‘The right to protest is not an absolute right, it also imposes certain obligations on the citizen,’ said union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal.
‘It is for the Delhi Police Commissioner to decide on giving permission to Anna Hazare for the venue of his protest.’
His comments come a day after Anna Hazare wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh protesting the Delhi Police restrictions on his protest fast, including allowing him to protest only for three days. The prime minister refused to be dragged into the issue.
Sibal said the Lokpal Bill, 2011, was with parliament and that Anna Hazare’s protest was an affront to parliament. ‘This protest is undemocratic and unjustified,’ said Sibal.
Briefing the media, Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni said, ‘Why are Anna and his associates not taking up electoral reform issues like recall of members of Parliament and audit of social welfare schemes of the government.’