BJP slams par panel`s U-turn on Lokpal

After exclusion of lower bureaucracy from Lokpal, BJP said the U-turn by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel was an "insult" to members and the panel had "no sanctity".

New Delhi: After exclusion of lower
bureaucracy from Lokpal, BJP on Monday said the U-turn by the
Standing Committee on Law and Justice and Personnel was an
"insult" to members and the panel had "no sanctity".

"There is no sanctity of the Standing Committee on Lokpal
after its decision to exclude Group C employees from the
Lokpal ambit," BJP MP Kirti Azad told reporters outisde
Parliament House.

He said there was a consensus in the committee on
inclusion of Group C employees in the Lokpal ambit.

The Bihar MP questioned how the decision was reversed
within 24 hours of a meeting of Congress core commitee at the
Prime Minister`s residence.

There are about 57 lakh Group C employees in the
country and the committee had earlier decided to include them
in the Lokpal ambit.

Terming the U turn by the committee as an "insult" to
members, Azad said, "This is an insult to members of the

He said, "This shows that the sense of the committee was
rejected outrightly so no sanctity of the committee remains.

We have sent our dissent note and giving our views on the
issue of PM, citizen charter, lower bureaucracy, appointment
of Lokpal and CBI director among other issues.

"What is the point in making a Lokpal which is not
useful?", he asked and said Standing Committee should not

BJP leaders maintained that there is perhaps no
precedent where a Bill had not been passed as there were too
many amendments.

"Moreover, most amendments related only to three issues
of appointment and removal of Lokpal, autonomy to CBI and
Lokayukta not being formed by a central law. Parliament knew
every detail of the issue. The government is behaving as if
the sky would fall due to these amendments," Prasad said.

The opposition further maintained that Congress used
the two days after Lok Sabha approved the Bill to try and
manage its ally.

BJP is also miffed at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and
Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee not speaking on the issue in
Rajya though they had participated in the debate in Lok Sabha.

"The Prime Minister is a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Pranab Mukherjee chose to keep quiet and even the Prime
Minister did not intervene.... Now the Prime Minister has
given a new year message saying his government will make
strong efforts to fight corruption as if to accept that this
was not being done till now," Prasad said.

Taking on the Congress criticism, BJP insisted that the
ruling party has a "peculiar DNA" which is seen in its
reactions. If there is any criticism of the Congress its
leaders say the person is a "fascist, is trying to destabilise
the government and seeking to derail democracy".

BJP alleged that Congress does not want an effective
Lokpal and hence orchestrated this fiasco in Rajya Sabha.

"The whole event was choreographed and players were
fixed. Lalu Prasad (RJD Chief), whom I have never seen in the
visitors gallery, spent hours there during the debate in Rajya
Sabha," Prasad said.