BJP meets President,seeks special session for Lokpal vote

This incident has left a blot on India’s parliamentary democracy.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published:January 6, 2012 3:47 am

Taking the Lokpal battle to the Rashtrapati Bhawan,the BJP on Thursday sought a special session of Parliament so that the vote on the Lokpal Bill could be taken afresh in the Rajya Sabha. The move came in the backdrop of public criticism over induction of tainted former UP minister Babu Singh Kushwaha into the party suggesting that the BJP had compromised its stand on corruption.

Leading a delegation of BJP MPs to the Rashtrapati Bhawan this afternoon,senior leader L K Advani,party president Nitin Gadkari and the two leaders of opposition Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj made the demand that the Parliament be re-convened,in a memorandum that was submitted to the President.

“We have sought the President’s intervention and expressed our grievance and dissatisfaction on the events that took place in Rajya Sabha on the night of December 29,” said Advani.

Accusing the government of “complete subversion” of Parliament,the BJP memorandum charged the government with deliberately paralysing parliamentary proceedings through “contrived disturbances” on the last day of the extended winter session to escape the crucial vote on the Lokpal Bill as it lacked a majority in the Rajya Sabha.

“The government must be asked to explain the reasons why the House was disturbed through such contrived disturbances. This incident has left a blot on India’s parliamentary democracy. The nation looks up to your Excellency,the President,to restore the credibility of India’s Parliament,” the memorandum said.

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said the President heard the BJP delegation and said she would examine various aspects on the matter before taking any action.

Maintaining that the UPA government had engineered the disturbances in the Rajya Sabha to avoid voting,the memorandum charged that such actions on the part of the government itself would set “terrible precedents” and the legitimacy of the House to question such future disturbances gets dented.

“The effort to avoid a vote through contrived disturbances is a clear subversion of parliamentary democracy. A government which avoids a vote has no moral authority to continue in office. If a state government avoided a vote in a legislature in this manner,it could be argued that governance is not being carried on in accordance with the Constitution. How does the Indian political and constitutional system countenance a central government which does the same?” it asked.

In such a situation,the memorandum said that the President “must act” as protector and guardian of Indian Constitution.

“The President could advise the government to reconvene the Session and immediately take a vote,” it said.

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