Lokpal fiasco: BJP to register protest with Prez

Peeved over the Lokpal fiasco witnessed in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, the BJP has decided to lodge protest with President Pratibha Patil.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011, 09:30 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Peeved over the Lokpal fiasco witnessed in Rajya Sabha on Thursday, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to lodge protest with President Pratibha Patil.

A delegation of senior leaders of the BJP, which has also indicated it is unhappy with the way Rajya Sabha Chairperson Hamid Ansari had conducted himself during the last few minutes of the session when the Lokpal Bill was being discussed, will meet President Patil on January 3 to register the protest.

The party`s core group, which met here on Friday a day after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die amid chaos on Thursday midnight without putting to vote the bill for an anti-graft ombudsman, has also decided to launch a week-long nation-wide agitation against the Congress.

After the meeting, BJP chief spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said that a high-level party delegation will meet the President to register its protest "against the murder of democracy by the UPA government".

The delegation will be led by senior leader LK Advani and party president Nitin Gadkari.

He said the party will also launch a "save democracy, remove Congress" campaign throughout the country from January 3-10.

Meanwhile, the BJP has not shied away from making it clear it is unhappy with the Vice President’s conduct but restrained itself due to respect for the high office.

Vice President Ansari, who is ex-officio chairperson of the Upper House, had adjourned the Rajya Sabha stating there was total impasse and the House cannot be run in this noise.

BJP was not pleased with Ansari`s decision and felt the matter could have been dealt with differently. The opposition wanted the House to continue functioning till the Bill was passed or seek an extension from the President.

"I have strong views on that ruling but I will keep it to myself," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said.

Jaitley pointed out that he had beseeched Ansari to take a call on the issue. As the "custodian" of the House, he could decide to continue and allow completion of the proceedings.

Jaitley maintained that as long as the House was in session it was the master and could decide on its own to extend it.

BJP is also miffed that though there were reports that President Patil was waiting in case the government wanted an extension of the session, UPA did not exercise this option.