File image of Prashant Bhushan | Commons
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New Delhi: True to the phrase ‘there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics, the Congress has turned for advice to activistlawyer Prashant Bhushan, who had taken on the UPA government over the 2G and coal ‘scams’.

The Supreme Court lawyer has, of late, been meeting Congress leaders to share his inputs on the party’s manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, ThePrint has learnt.

‘Reclaming the Republic’

The activist-lawyer has been seen sharing the dais with Congress leaders at some party events too — the latest being the one organised by the All India Professional Congress in New Delhi last week where Bhushan shared the dais with former Union ministers Kapil Sibal, Shashi Tharoor and Manish Tewari.

According to Congress leaders, a delegation of civil society activists, including Prashant Bhushan and Anjali Bhardwaj, met professor Rajeev Gowda, convener of the party’s manifesto committee on Tuesday, 20 February. They added that the delegation presented to the Congress a document called Reclaiming the Republicthat contains a wideranging set of agendas it wants included in the party’s poll manifesto.

On the list of suggestions is a recommendation for the enactment of a comprehensive anti-discrimination law and the constitution of an equal opportunity commission to oversee its implementation — covering all vulnerable groups.

“Prevent rising crimes against religious minorities and disadvantaged castes by creating criminal culpability of public officials with command responsibility, who fail to prevent hate violence (on the lines of the recent Manipur law on lynching, the first in the country),” one of the suggestions reads.

It also suggests establishing ‘an independent commission for looking into systemic injustice meted out to innocent Muslims incarcerated for long years under terror laws, and other such injustices.

Yet another suggestion is on amending the rules regarding the use of EVMs to provide for the compulsory use of VVPAT-enabled EVMs and tallying with VVPAT slips before the declaration of results.

On the question of the party accepting the suggestions made by Bhushan and Bhardwaj, a Congress leader said, They met us and gave us their suggestions. We have consultations at various levels and everyone is welcome to give their suggestions. The final decision on what will be approved rests with the Congress Working Committee.

ThePrint reached Prashant Bhushan through phone calls and messages but he is yet to respond. This report will be updated when he does.


Also read: Prashant Bhushan receives contempt notice for tweets on interim CBI chief’s appointment


Prashant Bhushan versus Congress

In 2012, Prashant Bhushan had trained his guns at then prime minister Manmohan Singh and Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s husband, businessman Robert Vadra.

Bhushan had criticised Singh for his government‘s alleged corruption: “The Congress is using the PM as a shield like ‘Shikhandi’. They say he is clean, so his Cabinet must be clean. Why is the PM allowing himself to be used like ‘Shikhandi’ in this manner.

At a press conference, Bhushan and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had accused Vadra, who is also Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s brother-in-law, of getting favours from realty major DLF.

Things have done a 180degree turn since then as the Congress and its erstwhile tormentors are cosying up today in a bid to oust the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power.


Also read: Criticism or contempt: Supreme Court eye should be on govt, not Prashant Bhushan’s tweets


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10 Comments Share Your Views

10 COMMENTS

  1. A fake Congress run by fake Gandhis have become last refuge of scoundrels like these people who constantly suffer from a perversion of righteousness. Like a very little known Anna Hazare,who overnight became national sensation by copying Gandhi’s Ramdhun singing at Jantar Mantar of Delhi to stop rampaging corruption by UPA Bhushan also became famous by singing another kind of Ramdhun in another Jantar Mantar which is known as Supreme Court of India. Although Anna has been beaten back into silence by Kejriwal we are are still awaiting the day when this Jantar Mantar of Bhushan tells him enough is enough!

  2. Prashant bhushan is typical case who always works with the philosophy of exceptionalism, be it in the case of Ayodhya, corruption, jammu and kashmir issue, EVM or recent issues related to rafael. This exceptionalism many a time has found itself at cross roads with National interest. The person in question has lost his integrity. As a common citizen I have always wondered, how come this person gets opportunity of hearing in SC at earnest. This shows there is nexus between sc judges and lawyers like him working against the judicial principle of equality. This man has got acclamation as PIL master, without having genuine concern he has filed PIL after PIL to hurt the overall judicial efficacy and efficiency. This person has also seemingly destroyed the very effectiveness of crusade against corruption because of his repeated change in stances just like the CM of Delhi.

  3. Prashant Bhushan is a crook to the core pretending as activist. He is left winger and he is approaching congress as left doesn’t have that much prominence now. He is such a crook that he instead of condemning the terror attack says we need to understand why they became terrorists. People like him are paid to weaken India at all levels.

  4. On EVMs I am surprised neither here nor there stand limiting the demand to 50% or more cross-checking of VVPAT slips..The demand should be nothing less than switch to fool proof ballot papers.I wonder parties like Cong. wants to keep EVM and not switch to paper ballot in order to keep the option to manipulate should they come to power! People know VVPAT too is not 100% fool proof. The actual registration of vote can be made to lag by a fixed time interval ,say 10 seconds after the visuals of the symbol appears and print out is taken. The EVMs can be so programmed at the manufacturing stage itself and even the EC wouldn’t know. In such cases matching of even 100% VVPAT will be deceptive.Switch to paper ballot is the only foolproof right solution.

  5. Indian people will not pardon these so called activists who have destroyed any chance of morality based activism in India for a long time to come

  6. Only turncoats like him seek the protection of the Congress party, which is desperately seeking some good speakers (abusers) for the party campaign. Having been earlier kicked out by the AAP party for his nefarious designs, he tried to gain some notoriety by filing some useless PIL suits against the Modi government, which did not work in his favor. He is now trying to gain a foothold on the Congress party, hoping he will be able to use it to boost his prospects. He was earlier a critic of the Congress party for their corrupt deals in the 2G and coalgate scams. Good luck to him and the Congress party!

  7. Prashant Bhushan has realized, even at their worst Congress is far better than BJP at their best. No wonder, he seems to be gravitating towards Congress.

  8. So long as useful, constructive suggestions are being made, they should be welcome from all quarters. I used to find the phrase “ Idea of India “ terribly pretentious. “ Reclaiming the Republic “ would have been even more so. Now, one is not sure.

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