Opposition slams govt, but won't boycott Parliament



Opposition slams govt, but won`t boycott Parliament Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Despite being peeved over the "attitude of the Congress" in Parliament which was paralysed over the detention of Anna Hazare, Opposition leaders, Tuesday, decided to not to boycott the Parliament.

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the Opposition parties. It has been decided that they will protest against the government inside and outside the Parliament.

The Opposition condemned the Congress "attitude", saying the ruling party did not allow any discussion on the arrest of Anna Hazare and others.

Earlier, CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat came down heavily on the Congress, saying Hazare's arrest was "a strong attack on democratic rights. ... I believe it also reflects the Congress party's refusal to tolerate any movement against corruption.

Maintaining that it was decided that all parties would be allowed to have their say on the issue, Karat said, "It was the Congress which disrupted Parliament today. They should not have done it. They should have allowed the decision to reach the Chairman's chamber to allow all parties to express their views for or against Anna's arrest."

BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad also condemned the Congress "behaviour", saying "they do not want anyone to speak outside Parliament and also obstruct speaking inside Parliament for the sake of defending their acts of corruption".

Accusing Congress members of not allowing Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley to speak by shouting him down, Karat said, "The ruling party obviously found it embarrassing for anybody to speak in a voice other than their own".

Asked whether Hazare's arrest reflected an "emergency- like situation", the CPI(M) leader said it was a "strong attack on democratic rights. ... We don't agree on several counts with Anna Hazare but we cannot tolerate such a move.

"This country has a Constitution, there are democratic rights and as long as there is a peaceful protest, you cannot ban it", she said.

Prasad said it was "indeed a very shocking behaviour today on the part of the ruling party inside Parliament, particularly in Rajya Sabha", accusing the treasury benches of disallowing Jaitley from speaking.

In the same vein, CPI National Secretary D Raja said, "Today it was the Congress which disrupted the House. Why should the government undermine the political process, undermine the political parties? Anna Hazare's arrest is a matter of public importance".

He said the Left parties may not agree with Hazare on many counts, but that does not mean such "anti-democratic" steps should be taken by the government to arrest him and his followers.