Sending across a strong message,the Lok Sabha on Tuesday censured Team Anna for lowering the dignity of Parliament after members joined hands to lash out at the civil society activists for using derogatory language against parliamentarians.
Though it refrained from passing a resolution,the censure against Team Anna came in the form of observations made by Speaker Meira Kumar that summed up the sense of the House at the end of a brief discussion initated by JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav. Any remark lowering the dignity and esteem of this august House is unwarranted and totally unacceptable, Meira Kumar said.
The Speaker said parliamentarians underwent rigorous scrutiny by the Election Commission under the provisions of Representation of People Act,Model Code of Conduct and other legal requirements while filing their nomination for election. After meticulously assessing their conduct and performance,the people of India,in their wisdom,elect them. Parliament,therefore,reflects the collective will of the people of our country, she said.
The criticism against Team Anna was initiated by Sharad Yadav,who said the Speaker should take suo motu action against them for their utterances against democratic institutions. Since Team Anna members had pointedly talked about 162 members with criminal cases against them,he said the onus was now on the Speaker to establish how many were politically motivated cases and how many were actually criminal cases. Yadav,however,conceded that not all MPs were upright and there could have been some with criminal backgrounds.
The trend of lambasting MPs and attack the political class,however,was disturbing,he said. He was followed by SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav,who maintained that civil society members who had challenged the authority of Parliament should be summoned to the House and taken to task.
Such was the anger among MPs that the Speaker had to caution members to avoid indecent language while describing civil society activists. Dara Singh Chauhan (BSP) said those who claim to be custodians of civil society were behaving to the contrary. There is a conspiracy to gag democracy, he said and demanded stringent action against Team Anna members.
Several others including M Thambidurai (AIADMK),Jagdambika Pal (Congress),Anantrao Adsul (Shiv Sena),Shareif-ud-din Shariq (NC) and Raghuvansh Prasad Singh (RJD) supported Sharad Yadav and said the dignity of Parliament could not be allowed to be lowered.
Referring to Team Annas allegations that some of the ministers are corrupt,National Conference leader and Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said he would resign from the House if the allegations against him are proved.
Anna: People have right to question MPs,MlAs,officials
Anna Hazare on Tuesday said in his blog that he and his team had never questioned the fact that it is the job of elected representatives to legislate. But those elected representatives and government servants who question peoples right to quiz them violate the Constitution. Repeating his trademark line of how democracy made the people the masters of the country and their legislators their servants,he said it was this philosophy that prompted B R Ambedkar to start the Constitution with We the people of India. He said the days of making laws in isolation from the people were over with the departure of the British and it is imperative now for any elected government to consult people from the civil society while preparing the draft of any law.
Virbhadra Singh seeks apology from Kejriwal
Daring Team Anna to produce evidence of their allegations of corruption against him,Minister for Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises Virbhadra Singh on Tuesday sought an unconditional apology from Arvind Kejriwal for maligning his name,failing which he threatened to initiate legal action against him. In a letter to Kejriwal,Singh,whose name figured in the list of 14 ministers against whom Team Anna demanded registration of FIR for corruption,said Kejriwals knowledge was sketchy. He said the allegation,as he read in the media reports,against him was that he was filmed demanding bribe from an IAS officer which is absolute and utter nonsense. I dare you to produce any such film, said Singh.