Delhi: Though the opposition was unsparing in its attack on the
government on the issue of corruption, both the government and the
opposition were unanimous that parliament was the only body which
could and should draft legislations in the country.
The point of agreement emerged as both sides, participating in the
special debate on the Lokpal issue in the Rajya Sabha Saturday,
said that parliament was the only body which should be drafting
"No one can dispute that Indian parliament is supreme in law
making. Law can't be made anywhere else but in parliament. So even
when pressure groups build up pressure in the society, we must
concede to them the right to build up pressure, but not be
provoked by them," Leader of Opposition in the upper house Arun
Jaitley said while participating in the debate.
"We must not lose our rationality to what we have to accept and
what we don't have to accept. We must legislate keeping in mind
the basic principle and values of Indian society, experiences of
our democracy and our constitutional rights," he said.
The leader of opposition said while civil society had a role to
play as crusaders, the option to agree or not was there.
"There will be a role for civil society, some of them may take
positions which may not be implementable, but then they have the
role of campaigner and crusader... when they try to compel
lawmakers to change their route, we have the option of agreeing
with them, we have the option of not agreeing," he said.
Union Minister Ashwani Kumar, participating in the debate, also
raised the same point, stating there was unanimity in the house
that law-making should be with parliament alone.
"There is one issue on which there is complete unanimity that
law-making is the exclusive domain of the two houses and cannot be
compromised by people sitting under a banyan tree or peepal tree,"
He also said that mistakes might have been made, but there were no
two opinions on the fact that corruption needed to be fought
Jaitley meanwhile said the massive support for Anna Hazare is a
"loud and clear" message that people are unhappy with the present
"The message is loud and clear, people are not ready to accept the
present status quo," he said as the house took up the debate on
the Lokpal bill.
"Corruption in many areas has become a way of life."
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said the "upper sections
of the society bend the rules and indulge in corruption, while the
common people suffer".
"There are low areas of society where the average man has to
confront corruption as a way of life," he said.
He said some "not so complimentary statements" were being made
about parliament and MPs. He urged fellow members not to pay
attention to them.
"Time has now come to raise the bar of accountability in India.
Existing structures have not succeeded. They have not responded to
the enormity of the situation," he said.
The upper house took up the debate at noon, an hour after the Lok
Sabha began the debate to resolve the logjam over a Lokpal bill
following a fast by Hazare that entered the 12th day Saturday.