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Parties cry foul, BJP wants govt to resign

delhi Updated: Dec 30, 2011 08:18 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party


Political parties, including UPA ally Trinamool Congress, on Thursday cried foul after the Rajya Sabha failed to pass the lokpal bill terming it as a "black day" for democracy and said it has lost its right to continue in office.

"The government is running away as it is in a hopeless minority... If a government runs away from parliament, it does not have a right to continue in office for a minute," Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said, minutes before the house was adjourned sine die.

Talking to reporters outside Parliament later, Jaitley reiterated his demand and called the government's action the single largest fraud in parliament's history.

"This is the single largest fraud in the history of parliament," he said.

"This was a choreography which was going on since day before yesterday. When it was passed in Lok Sabha, it should have been brought in upper house yesterday (Wednesday). But they did not bring it. Even today the debate could have ended long back," he said, accusing the government of deliberately delaying the proceedings.

"They asked some friendly parties to create a ruckus, but RJD having lesser numbers could not. The minister (V Narayanasamy) took so long to reply, even though no one could understand what he was saying," he said.

"This government has lost its political and moral authority to govern the country," he said.

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "It is a dark night for Indian democracy. Today, democracy has been disrobed in Rajya Sabha. The Prime Minister and Shri Pranab Mukherjee witnessed this as silent spectators."

She accused the Prime Minister and Mukherjee of being "party to this ugly drama" and alleged that "this conspiracy was hatched under their direction".

BSP leader Satish C Mishra termed it as a "loss of face" for the government and accused it of indulging in drama.

He said the government had no intention of passing the bill.

"It is unprecedented. The government played the trick to avoid a sure defeat to lokpal bill in the Rajya Sabha," he said, adding the people of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh will teach the Congress a lesson.

CPI leader D Raja said it was a "midnight assault" on democracy.

Members of Opposition, meanwhile, staged a protest outside Parliament, with BJP members, accompanied by other opposition parties, shouting slogans against the government.

BJP members dominated the agitation, shouting slogans that the government has committed a fraud.

Another BJP leader, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the episode showed that the country is "moving towards (an) emergency."

Party spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy said that "the government has once again betrayed the nation".

"The developments are sad, sad, sad... it was an orchestrated chaos," said Trinamool MP Derek O' Brien after the midnight drama after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die.

Another party MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy dubbed it as a "black day for Indian democracy" and said it was taken aback by the developments.

"We wanted clauses 63 to 97 to be deleted. That is our stand on lokayuktas," O'Brien said.