Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: A delegation of BJP leaders on Thursday met President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan to voice its opposition to the Ordinance promulgated by the Centre providing protection to convicted lawmakers.
After the meeting, BJP senior leader LK Advani told reporters that the government should realise that the Ordinance they are bringing about is against the Constitution.
Underlining that the government is trying to dilute the decision of the Supreme Court, Advani said the Ordinance will protect MPs and MLAs who have been convicted and are criminals.
We requested President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign the ordinance, added Advani.
Echoing Advani`s comments, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha and senior BJP leader, Sushma Swaraj, said that her party had always opposed the "illegal, immoral and unconstitutional" Ordinance.
She added that the President had assured them that he would examine the Ordinance and then take a decision.
The BJP contended that the President was not duty-bound to give assent to the Ordinance.
Advani, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj gave the President a memorandum detailing their party`s objections to the Ordinance.
Answering a query, Sushma said it was wrong to state the BJP had agreed to support the bill brought by the government to prevent convicted lawmakers from disqualification.
She said the BJP had said that the bill should be sent to the standing committee.
Government cleared the Ordinance on Wednesday to undo a two-month-old Supreme Court verdict under which MPs and MLAs face immediate disqualification on their conviction in a criminal case with a jail term of two years.
Government has brought the Ordinance after failing to get a Bill to this effect passed in Parliament during the recent Monsoon Session.
The Supreme Court had on July 10 ruled that an MP or an MLA would stand disqualified immediately if convicted by a court for crimes with punishment of two years or more.
To negate the Supreme Court order, the government moved to amend the law and brought the Representation of the People (Second Amendment) Bill, 2013 in Rajya Sabha during the last session. However, the bill could not be passed.