iconimg Monday, May 04, 2015

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, February 28, 2014
Contrary to the reports suggesting the UPA will take to ordinance route to pass pro-people and anti-graft legislations that could not be passed in Parliament, the Union Cabinet on Friday did not consider the option. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had assured members of Jan Sansad — a group of civil society bodies fighting for pro-people legislations — that the government would do its best to have the ordinances notified.

The Bills are: the Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill, the Whistle Blowers Protection Bill, the Right of Citizens for Time Bound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of their Grievances Bill, the Prevention of Bribery of Foreign Public Officials and Officials of Public International Organisations Bill, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill and the Public Procurement Bill, 2012.

The Whistle Blowers Protection Bill was passed by Parliament on 21 February.

Gandhi has said these laws are essential to fight corruption and that the government will bring them through ordinances if needed. The UPA government, which has been sitting on the Bills for more than two years, tried to get them passed in the extended winter session that concluded on 21 February, but could not.

Gandhi's Congress and the UPA government have been under fire over a slew of corruption scandals involving some of its leaders. While the issue of corruption and the rising prices of essential commodities have dented the popularity of the UPA, which has been in power since 2004, the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is projected to have a clear edge in opinion polls ahead of the Lok Sabha election due by May.

Sensing the Congress might draw political mileage out of these legislations, the BJP on Wednesday said it will register its protest with President Pranab Mukherjee if such a route is adopted.

"Issuing an ordinance is something which should be done in exceptional cases and between two sessions of Parliament. We (BJP) are against the ordinance route at this point of time and will register our protest with the President of India," BJP President Rajnath Singh today said, addressing ward-level party workers in New Delhi.