`Midnight drama on Lokpal was parliamentary fraud`

Taking on the Congress-led UPA government for avoiding a vote on the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, the main Opposition BJP on Friday dubbed the midnight drama as the biggest parliamentary fraud.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011, 00:50 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Taking on the Congress-led UPA government for avoiding a vote on the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, the main Opposition BJP on Friday dubbed the midnight drama as biggest parliamentary fraud.

Accusing the Centre of playing blame game and manipulating things for petty gains, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitely said, “The government ran away from vote just to save itself from further embarrassment. What happened at the midnight was the biggest parliamentary fraud in the country’s political history.”

Jaitely, who was addressing a joint press conference with his party colleagues Ravi Shankar Prasad and Sushma Swaraj, said, “The UPA government has prevented the nation from getting a strong and effective anti-graft legislation to fight corruption.”

He added, “Our stand was clear from the very beginning on the Lokpal issue. The government had a clear majority in Lok Sabha but lacked support in Rajya Sabha, where we enjoyed a good lead over them, so our stand on the issue was obvious.”

"They asked some friendly parties to create a ruckus, but RJD having lesser numbers could not. The minister (V Narayanasamy) took so long to reply, even though no one could understand what he was saying," he said.

He stating that his party had only demanded three basic amendments to Lokpal Bill related to its federal structure, selection process and independence of the CBI, which was supported by those sitting on the opposition benches.
Claiming that the UPA government was on a sticky wicket, Jaitley said, “Since the UPA government was aware of its defeat in the Upper House, it deliberately delayed the debate and skipped a vote so as to bail its self out, adding, “It overlooked the option of further extending the midnight session.”

Terming it a sad day in the history of Indian democracy, the Opposition leader said that the Congress made a mockery of the parliamentary system.

Jaitely also charged the UPA government for indulging in blame game and manipulating things for cheap political gains and said that the ruckus in Rajya Sabha was orchestrated.
“This government is good in blame games and after the cash-for-votes scam they have become more confident,” he said.

Jaitley also claimed that the Congress government had lost a moral right to stay in power and hence it should resign taking responsibility for cheating the nation on the issue of Lokpal.

"This government has lost its political and moral authority to govern the country," he said.

The BJP leader, who was seconded by his colleagues during the press briefing, also warned that his party will launch a nation-wide agitation against the UPA government and take the Lokpal battle to the streets.