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‘PM must be from LS’

Leader of Opposition LK Advani favoured a constitutional amendment to make it mandatory for the Prime Minister to be a member of Lok Sabha, reports Shekhar Iyer.
Hindustan Times | By Shekhar Iyer, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 26, 2009 11:41 PM IST

Leader of Opposition LK Advani on Thursday favoured a constitutional amendment to make it mandatory for the Prime Minister to be a member of Lok Sabha.

Advani, who recently asked many second-line BJP leaders who are members of Rajya Sabha to contest the Lok Sabha polls, said provision was necessary so that the office of the PM was not devalued. “In our system of parliamentary democracy, Lok Sabha is directly elected by the people and hence enjoys a more democratic profile than the Upper House,” he said.

“By convention, most prime ministers in the past were members of Lok Sabha… I am personally of the view that the Constitution should be amended to make it mandatory for the PM to be a member of the lower house,” Advani said at a press meet to mark the last day of the present House.

He also said the BJP would not give a ticket to anyone with a criminal background. Adding the BJP was not averse to welcoming Sharad Pawar-led Nationalist Congress Party into the NDA fold as mooted by Sena leader Manohar Joshi.

Denying any problems with the Sena, Advani said seat sharing had be discussed with the allies after changes caused by delimitation of constituencies. He said the 14th Lok Sabha would be remembered for many wrongs, “the foremost being a crippling devaluation of the office of the prime minister. What devalued this PM’s position further is that he was not in control of the UPA regime...”

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