Opposition taking mileage on Lokpal issue: Pranab

Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday accused the BJP, CPI-M and JD(U) of trying to gain political mileage out of the Lokpal Bill issue.

Kolkata: Union Minister Pranab Mukherjee
on Friday accused the BJP, CPI-M and JD(U) of trying to gain
political mileage out of the Lokpal Bill issue by assessing
the civil society`s outburst as an attack on the Congress.

"When Anna Hazare was on fast, the CPI-M politburo and
the BJP supported him. A JD(U) leader even went on dharna.
They thought it was an attack on the Congress and they could
take political mileage out of it. But it is an attack on the
parliamentary system and the democratic process," the Finance
Minister told a WBPCC rally here.
"Their aim is to use undemocratic means as they cannot
win the elections," the senior Congress leader claimed.

Taking a dig at BJP for supporting yoga guru Ramdev`s
fast, he said, "in the recent Assembly elections in five
states, the BJP got only five seats in Assam.

"They got no seat in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and in West
Bengal, they came second only in one of the 294 seats. So, the
party thought it must hog the limelight by bringing in the
babas and bibis."

The CPI-M was "somewhat confused" after losing the
Assembly elections in Kerala and West Bengal, Mukherjee said

"Since the Communists first organised themselves in
India in 1920, they are yet to come of age. That is why, they
still take baby steps by sometimes holding the little finger
of Sonia Gandhi and sometimes holding the thumb of the BJP,"
the union minister said.

Recalling that a Communist minister of Kerala had said
in 1957 "we will wreck the Constitution from within", he said,
"they could not do it. So now, they have joined Hazare."
"After Independence, the Communists raised the slogan
of `Yeh Azadi Jhoota Hai` and when the Constitution was
adopted, they rejected it as `bourgeoisie`," Mukherjee said.

Stating that demands had been raised several times to
remove the Left Front government in West Bengal under Article
356, Mukherjee said, "when we were in power at the Centre, we
had said this was not possible.

"When were were in the Opposition, we had said we will
oppose any such move, because this is not democratic. So
today, people of the state have responded in a big way (by
rejecting the Front in the Assembly polls)."

Mukherjee said that under the Rules of Procedure and
Conduct of Business in Parliament, public opinion could be
elicited on any Bill before it was passed in the House.

"All bills are put on the website. If people want to
give their opinion, they can do so. There is no need for fasts
or threats for this," he said.

Stating that recovery of black money was a "big job",
the Finance Minister said Rs 68,000 of unaccounted money was
recovered between August 2009 and March 2011.

India has signed agreements with 34 countries for
recovering black money from those nations, he said.

"From what information I am getting, black money is
being recovered from those countries. One may ask, why was it
not recovered before? The answer is, because there was no

Black money was not a problem only for India, but also
for many big countries like the US and France, he said.


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