Congress slams BJP for taking Lokpal fight to President

Hours after a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) delegation met President Pratibha Devisingh Patil to formally register a complaint against the UPA Government''s failure to put the anti-graft legislation to vote in the Rajya Sabha on December 29, the ruling Congress Party on Thursday hit out at the main opposition for its dubious stand on the Lokpal Bill.

"Under the leadership of Advani, today the delegation of Bharatiya Janata Party met Indian President with a demand for strong Lokpal Bill. I think, since the time they have inducted Kushwaha (expelled Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh accused of corruption) in their party, they are more concerned of introducing a strong Lokpal Bill," said Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi.

"They (BJP) have also said that there should be a special session on this issue," he added.

He cited how the BJP contended the Lokpal''s decision should not be taken in haste whereas in contrary, it now wants the President to speed up the proceedings of this Bill.

"In Lok Sabha, the Leader of Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Sushma Swaraj, mentioned again and again to send Lokpal Bill into Standing Committee, She also said that even if it takes time, then adequate time should be given, She asserted there should be no haste in the decision of the Lokpal. If it takes three or four moths then also it not a problem, but today the leaders of the same party asked Indian President to call for a special session," said Alvi.

"What Sushma Swaraj used to say yesterday was right and today as if what Advani has said is right? Members of Bharatiya Janata Party don''t know themselves that what is right or not and what they want," he added.

Reiterating his party''s commitment to bring in a strong and effective Lokpal Bill, Alvi said: "We want a strong Lokpal Bill, We had majority in Lok Sabha; we passed the Bill, but unfortunately we didn''t have majority in Rajya Sabha."

"We had a hope that the party who wants the Bill to be passed, will definitely support us and pass the Bill but unfortunately that parties that usually come out in public and talk about strong Lokpal didn''t stand by us in Rajya Sabha. They showed their true colours in the Rajya Sabha session and they didn''t let it pass," he added.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari, leaders of the Opposition in both the houses of Parliament Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, former party president Rajnath Singh as well as M. Venkaiah Naidu, Ananth Kumar, S.S. Ahluwalia and Ravi Shankar Prasad were part of the delegation led by BJP verertan Lal Krishna Advani that met President Patil today.

The Lokpal Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha was taken up for a discussion and vote in Rajya Sabha. But after a marathon debate that stretched until midnight, the vote failed to take place.

The Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die late night on December 29 amid uproar created by several MPs, without voting on the Bill.

The anti-graft legislation for which social activist Anna Hazare and his team have fomented a successful mass movement may now be taken up in the budget session of parliament, probably in March.

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