`PM should ensure that Maran quits Union Cabinet`

Referring to Baba Ramdev, the CPI chief said it was good that the former ended his fast.

Updated: Jun 13, 2011, 12:50 PM IST

Hyderabad: Stating that the continuance of Union Textiles Minister Dayanidhi Maran was "untenable", Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary AB Bardhan
on Monday demanded that the Prime Minister ascertain that the former was made to quit his post.

"Maran`s continuance in the Union Cabinet is no longer justified. He must resign. The Prime Minister should see to it that the minister facing fresh allegations in the 2G spectrum scandal goes. Hope the Prime Minister will take action and not wait till it is too late," Bardhan told a press conference at the CPI state headquarters Maqdoom Bhavan here today.

The general secretary pointed out that as more and more the 2G spectrum was investigated, more and more ministers` involvement was being revealed. "The probe into the 2G scandal should take into account the decisions taken during the
erstwhile NDA regime as well since the first-come-first-serve policy was introduced during that period," he added.

Bardhan also slammed the UPA government for overlooking the political parties in the drafting of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

"The government doesn`t seem to have a policy. Yes, civil society is alright. But an amorphous civil society doesn`t pass laws. The government should remember that the Bill has to be passed in Parliament. We don`t know about the discussions
in the drafting committee," he said.

He found fault with the UPA government for suddenly involving the political parties in the (Bill drafting) process and seeking their opinion.

"But, all political parties should strongly rebuff the government. It has sent us an objective-type question paper seeking answers. Is this the casual way in which you treat political parties," Bardhan questioned.

The CPI leader demanded that the draft Jan Lokpal Bill be tabled in the next session of Parliament so that it could be "discussed, processed and enacted" as law.

"We want the Prime Minister`s Office and the judiciary brought under the Lokpal`s purview. We will give reasons for it in Parliament," Bardhan added.

Lashing out at the government over the way in which it
treated social activist Anna Hazare and Yoga guru Baba Ramdev,
the CPI general secretary noted that five representatives from
the civil society were included in the drafting committee but
were subjected to attacks subsequently.

"The UPA government and the Congress have been attacking
and belittling Anna Hazare and others by hurling slanderous
allegations. Is this the way the government should behave? The
Congress party even published a pamphlet against Anna, he
pointed out.

After first rolling out a red carpet, the government
cracked down on Baba Ramdev. It was a dark deed done in
darkness of night. Is this the way the government treats any
agitation? It can`t treat people like that," Bardhan asserted.

Referring to Baba Ramdev, the CPI chief said it was good
that the former ended his fast. However, he took exception to
the campaign that people were now carrying forward the issues
raised by the Yoga guru.

"People are not carrying forward the issues raised by
him. They were raised long ago. They are people’s issues. In
fact, it was the CPI MP Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy who first
raised in Parliament the issue of black money and put the
figure at Rs 76 lakh crore. The government remained mum.
Another CPI MP Gurudas Dasgupta followed it up but the Union
Finance Minister is yet to reply to this though the issue is
pending before Parliament for about three years now," Bardhan

Asserting that the people would continue to fight on the
issues of corruption and black money, Bardhan said the Left
parties too would continue their "relentless struggle".

CPI deputy general secretary Suravaram Sudhakar Reddy,
state secretary K Narayana and others were also present at the
press meet.