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RS fiasco triggers all out war between Congress, Opposition

The government today shifted the entire blame for the lokpal fiasco on the BJP, saying the opposition with "an understanding with some other parties" devised a strategy of submitting a large number of amendments to ensure the bill is held up in the Rajya Sabha.BJP choreographed murder of democracy

delhi Updated: Dec 30, 2011 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Bharatiya Janata Party,BJP,home minister

The government on Friday blamed the BJP and other opposition parties for the lokpal bill fiasco in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday night.

Home minister P Chidambaram said the intention of the opposition parties to stall the bill became clear with the number of amendments they had moved, seeking changes in the legislation.

"At least 187 amendments were moved. The last of which was received at 6 (p.m. Thursday). That is the real story…Can anyone reconcile them ? These cannot be reconciled in a matter of few minutes or a few hours," Chidambaram said.

He said that the government had done everything possible to get the bill passed, but the opposition had decided to oppose it at all costs. "How a minister could accept amendments against his wish and down the throat of the government? How can he say the bill as amended (by opposition) be passed?", Chidambaram asked.

The minister also questioned the rationale of moving amendments on the clauses which the opposition parties had accepted in the Lok Sabha barely two days back.

"The cat was out of the bag when the leader of opposition said at the start of the debate yesterday (Thursday) that we are confident that three crucial amendments will be passed. How did he know? So they must have got into an understanding with some other parties," Chidambaram said.

Speaking in a similar vein, Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said the BJP was trying to be "too clever by half", obstructing the bill by pretending to put conditionalities.

He said the BJP did not want a strong lokpal, which was clear from the fact that in BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh has "extremely weak" lokayuktas and there is no lokayukta since six months in Karnataka and for several years in Gujarat. "We can't prevent the BJP from doing negative politics. But it will get a fitting slap on the face in the near future.”

First Published: Dec 30, 2011 18:36 IST