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HindustanTimes Tue,21 Oct 2014

Lalu conviction 'defining moment' for Indian politics: Jaitley

PTI  New Delhi, September 30, 2013
First Published: 23:20 IST(30/9/2013) | Last Updated: 23:21 IST(30/9/2013)

Terming the conviction of Lalu Prasad in the fodder scam case as a "defining moment" for Indian politics, BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Monday charged the UPA government with approving the ordinance on lawmakers to protect the RJD chief.

"It has taken 17 years for justice to be done... When conviction appeared to be inevitable, the UPA even prepared for life after conviction. The amendment to section 8(4) of the Representation of the People Act was proposed. When Parliament did not approve the Bill and referred it to the (Parliamentary) standing committee, the shameless UPA government approved an ordinance," he wrote in his website.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha claimed President Pranab Mukherjee was reluctant to sign the ordinance and it could not be approved "for reasons which are well known".

"Today we have all understood why this ordinance was brought. Its only object was to help a loyal UPA ally who was likely to be convicted. In the end justice has prevailed. Be you ever so high the law is above you," he said attacking the government.

He said after Lalu's RJD was thrown out of power in Bihar, he moved to the Centre as a Union minister and became a balancer for the UPA in its pursuit of coalition politics.

"He had a vested interest in supporting the UPA. Besides being in power he could manage to manipulate the CBI which was prosecuting his case.

"In the year 2004, the first major attack on the UPA government was on the issue of seven tainted ministers being a part of the council of ministers. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh defended the tainted. Lalu Prasad was the foremost among the tainted who were being prosecuted. Some of his cases were successfully killed by the prosecution itself," Jaitley wrote.


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