One of the many ways in which the UPA government has effectively scuttled the campaigns against corruption led, first, by Team Anna and, subsequently, by Baba Ramdev is by tossing out diversionary red herrings that had little or no bearing on the larger issue but which effectively divided the campaigners - and sabotaged the movement.
Thus, for instance, at a critical stage of the discussions centred around the office of the Lokpal, the anti-corruption ombudsman that was envisaged under the Lokpal Bill, the constituents of the UPA introduced a caste quota provision for the Lokpal panel.
Leaders who thrive in politics by playing the casteist card held up parliamentary proceedings to demand that the Lokpal panel should represent the social reality of India - that is, be sliced and diced along caste lines.
Even more hypocritical was the demand from some leaders - the names of Ram Vilas Paswan and Sharad Yadav leap to mind - that the Lokpal panel provide quotas for women as well. The irony of this demand was that these very leaders had thrown a colossal tantrum in Parliament a few years ago to ensure that a bill to provide reservation for women in parliament was defeated.
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