Accusing the government of seeking the opposition’s views only when expedient, the BJP has chosen to stay out of the debate on whether the prime minister and the higher judiciary should be brought under the purview of the Lokpal.
As the government wrestled with the civil society representatives on how far the jurisdiction of the Lokpal should stretch, Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee had sought the opinion of chief ministers and political parties on the issue.
On Thursday, BJP president Nitin Gadkari wrote back to the minister. “You can consult us before it is introduced in Parliament for our suggestion,” he said in the letter.
"In case there is divergence of opinion between members of the drafting committee, the final proposals carrying both view points can be sent to us. It would not be proper for parties and parliamentarians to start submitting their opinions."
Getting involved in the issue as the government faces civil society brickbats is not in the BJP’s interest. The party wants to let the public discourse hover around UPA corruption.
In his presidential speech at the BJP national executive meet in Lucknow on Friday, Gadkari called for an “independent mechanism to deal with the appointment of a lokpal to handle corruption-related cases,” but avoided going into specifics.