New Delhi: In the wake of Anna Hazare`s
arrest, BJP on Tuesday said a "nervous" UPA government was adopting
an "undemocratic attitude" by laying down unreasonable
conditions on peaceful protestors and misusing the police to
serve its ends.
"The government has been adopting an undemocratic
attitude outside Parliament till now. Today this was seen
inside the Parliament as well... This government has lost its
balance and this is becoming obvious time and again," Leader
of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters.
She was referring to Congress members in both Houses
not allowing the respective Leader of Opposition to speak on
Hazare`s arrest despite the Chair asking them to do so.
She claimed that the government had acted in an
undemocratic manner when Baba Ramdev was holding his protest
as also in the case of Anna Hazare.
"This government allows separatists to come and air
their views in the capital but whenever a saffron clad saint
or a Gandhi-cap activist holds an agitation they don`t allow
it," Swaraj said.
She insisted that Hazare`s arrest was "unjustified"
and demanded his immediate release.
"Anna had not even reached Jaiprakash Narayan park when
he was arrested. Section 144 was not imposed at his
residence.... The Home Minister says he does not know where
Anna has been kept. This government is nervous. It is not
being run by the Prime Minister or the Home Minister. Police
are running this government," Swaraj said.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley
maintained that some people may have differences with Hazare
but in a democracy everybody has a right to peaceful protest
and to express his views.
"Dissent is the essence of democracy. It is true that
the last word will be that of Parliament but any individual or
group or political party has the right to air its views and
register its protest peacefully. This political leadership is
hiding behind the police. They have tried to take away the
right to dissent, the right to protest," Jaitley said.
He insisted that the government should lay down
reasonable, and not impossible, conditions. "There can be no
conditionalities which render redundant your very
right to protest. We are hearing for the first time that a
small protest will be allowed but a large protest will not be
allowed," he said.
Jaitley challenged the Congress to give an undertaking
that in future it will not hold any agitation in which the
number of protestors goes beyond 5,000.
"By laying down impossible conditions this political
leadership has shown it has no courage of conviction and they
are now trying to hide behind the men in uniform... They are
changing the very idiom of politics. What their spokesmen and
ministers talk smacks of smugness," Jaitley said.
He also referred to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s
recent statement that his government is "perceived" to be most
The opposition demanded that in a democracy the Prime
Minister should make a statement and not the police