Lalu, Sharad tear into Team Anna campaign
The twosome Sharad and Lalu Prasad Yadav tore into the Anna Hazare campaign on Saturday, hitting out against NGO activists, film stars and the TV media. Srinand Jha reports.delhi Updated: Aug 28, 2011 00:15 IST
The twosome Sharad and Lalu Prasad Yadav tore into the Anna Hazare campaign on Saturday, hitting out against NGO activists, film stars and the TV media. The duo criticised these groups for using "derogatory" language against MPs and "denigrating" the institution of Parliament.
In self-righteous anger, the two Yadav leaders struck rare bonhomie on the Lokpal debate in Lok Sabha, when they referred to their political struggles in the Jayaprakash Narain movement of the mid-seventies, while questioning the motives of Team Anna.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Lalu Yadav questioned the very purpose of the debate, saying that this amounted to a violation of Parliamen-tary supremacy in view of the fact that the Lokpal bill was already under the consideration of the Parliamentary Standing Committee.
"This is not the first time that Parliament is debating the issue of corruption. There is nothing historical about today's debate. There should be no voting on the debate. The Parliament is supreme and its authority cannot be compromised. A wrong message must not go out of here," said Lalu.
Alleging that Hazare's team was misleading him for political gains, Lalu had the house in splits of laughter when he said, "We are experienced politicians and we do have a clear idea about what Team Anna is up to. Kapil Sibal can have a problem from Kiran Bedi in the next poll."
Objecting to the "derogatory language" being used to relate to MPs by Team Anna's Arvind Kejriwal and actor Om Puri, Lalu said that the campaign was entirely an "NGO game".
"Yeh log chanda pani se apna jal pan karna chhahate hain (These people want to make money through contributions)," he said.
Janata Dal (United) leader Sharad Yadav vent his ire against a "Bengali babu moshai" (referring to a private television anchor), who had made life impossible for politicians because of his blind support to and non-stop coverage of the Hazare campaign.
He wondered why Congress MPs regularly visit TV studios, participate in discussions and subject themselves to scrutiny by "Bengali babu moshai".
He called upon the government to "concede" the three demands and request the TV channel to stop the non-stop coverage. "This box is not allowing us to sleep," Sharad said.
Amid frequent applause from all sections of the House, Yadav said, "The country is not run by discussions on television channels but by debates in Parliament".
"Private news channels are so obsessed with Hazare that they have stopped showing other important news, especially floods in different parts of the country, particularly in eastern India."
Both the leaders emphasised that the Lokpal selection committee must have adequate representation of the Other Backward Classes.