New Delhi: Hitting hard at the BJP for having backtracked after supporting constitutional status for Lokpal in the Standing Committee, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Wednesday, said that the real face of the BJP has come to the fore.
Reiterating Congress remains committed to a strong Lokpal, Sonia said, “I am very happy that an effective Lokpal Bill has been passed.”
However, she pointed fingers at the BJP saying that it was only because of the BJP that the government could not ensure constitutional status for the Ombudsman.
“The strength we wanted to give to the Lokpal…they did not want it. The BJP had committed to constitutional status for Lokpal in the standing committee but later they withdrew the support,” Sonia said.
Sonia Gandhi’s comments came after high-drama in the Parliament yesterday night which saw the government’s proposal to grant constitutional status to Lokapl being voted out by the Lok Sabha.
The Constitution (116th Amendment) Bill was defeated in
the Lok Sabha by a determined Opposition, helped by the
absence of parties supporting the government from outside like
SP, BSP and RJD.
Samajwadi Party (22), BSP (16) and RJD (4), which support the UPA government from outside staged a walkout, bringing the numbers down for the government.
A Constitution Amendment Bill to be passed should have
more than 50 per cent of the members of the House present and
of them, two-third support is mandatory.
Adding to government’s troubles, around 15 Congress MPs were also absent at the time of voting, leading to a situation where the government could not muster even simple majority of 273 votes in favour as it managed only 250 votes on the crucial legislation.
The Congress has reasons to feel embarrassed, especially because it was Rahul Gandhi`s idea of conferring Constitutional status to Lokpal.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had yesterday night expressed disappointment over the failure. "This is a bit of disappointment that it could not be
passed," he said after the embarrassment faced by the
government in the House.
Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee told the BJP-led Opposition, “It is a sad day for democracy, it is a sad for the institution. People will teach you a lesson."
On the other hand, the BJP had demanded resignation of the UPA government on moral grounds after it failed to get the Constitution Amendment Bill passed in the Lok Sabha.
Minister Manmohan Singh has no moral right to continue in
office," BJP leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters after the
embarassing development for the government.
"Rahul Gandhi`s dream has been shattered. This shows the
monumental inefficiency of this government,” he added.