Ally, watchdog, not disruptive force
Elections seem to have changed the BJP’s approach to its role as an Opposition party, with its leaders in Parliament seeking to make a new beginning on Friday, reports Shekhar Iyer.delhi Updated: Jun 06, 2009 00:30 IST
Elections seem to have changed the BJP’s approach to its role as an Opposition party, with its leaders in Parliament seeking to make a new beginning on Friday.
The new leaders of the Opposition — LK Advani in the Lok Sabha and Arun Jaitley in the Rajya Sabha — offered support to the government on governance, development and security issues while vowing to play the watchdog.
Participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the President’s address to both Houses, they appeared to end the belligerence displayed through boycotts and adjournments.
Advani said although good governance, development and security were the election plank of the BJP, “these cannot be the monopoly of any party. People expect every government to adhere to these principles. We will back your efforts in this direction”.
In the Rajya Sabha, Jaitley said, “The election result is a reflection of an aspirational India. The BJP will strongly stand behind the government in carrying out the wishes of the aspirational India.”
He said, “Democracy is a great leveler. The winner is placed with the responsibility of being modest and matured and the loser has to be dignified, patient and determined.”
Both Advani and Jaitley said the BJP’s backing would cover the Women’s Reservation Bill, the Right to Food Bill, zero tolerance to terror, unique I-cards, one-rank-one-pension in the armed forces, literacy mission and all measures to push high economic growth and social justice.
Advani hailed the UPA’s victory as a mandate for “stability”. But he also reminded the victors: “Victory and defeat are part of elections. Our strength of 116 MPs is no small number.”