Hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s media interaction, BJP president Nitin Gadkari accused the PM and his government of failing to take the Opposition on board while forming a joint committee with civil society activists for drafting the lokpal bill.
“When the committee was made, they did not think of us… The Leaders of Opposition were not included in it. When their dialogue with civil society failed, they remembered us,” Gadkari said. “The procedure being that Bills are placed by government in Parliament and then Opposition reacts, we will respond in Parliament.” Gadkari also attacked the Prime Minister for terming the police action at Ramlila Maidan unfortunate but unavoidable: “When ministers went to meet him, Baba Ramdev was a saint, then he became a thug for them in two days.”
“Atrocities were committed late at night, lathis and tear gas were used on women, children and elders... Is it a crime in India to protest against corruption and black money?”
Accusing the BJP of never playing a constructive role, Congress spokesperson Jayanthi Natarajan said, “The BJP is yet to spell out their stand regarding the inclusion of the Prime Minister in the lokpal bill. That is something the nation is not aware.”
Attacking the Prime Minister over high inflation, Gadkari said that the PM had failed the test as an economist.
“The Congress manifesto had said it would rein in inflation. Even the Prime Minister had said so earlier. Promises of bringing down prices in 100 days were made. Today, the PM says he has no magic wand. The PM has failed as an economist. He has also deceived the country by false promises,” Gadkari said.
He also linked inflation to scams and corruption.
“It is surprising to link the price rise with the scams. Since we import around 90% of the crude oil, it is natural international prices going up, it is imperative that it will have the impact on the domestic f ront also,” Natarajan responded.
Janata Dal (United) president Sharad Yadav attacked the Prime Minister, saying, “One who is offered the crown cannot really govern.”
“He (Prime Minister) spoke today because he was told in the Congress Working Committee meeting to do so. You cannot turn chalk into cheese.”