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Congress, BJP resume trading charges on Lokpal bill

Monday January 02, 2012 07:01:21 PM, IANS

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New Delhi: The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Monday resumed trading charges on the Lokpal bill, holding each other responsible for the bill not being passed by parliament during its winter session.

Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi claimed that the BJP voted against the constitutional amendment bill on Lokpal because it was party Rahul Gandhi's idea, while BJP leader Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the prime minister's silence over the issue.

"BJP said in the standing committee in writing (that) we support constitutional status without conditionalities. In the all-party meeting, they supported constitutional status without conditionalities," Singhvi told NDTV news channel.

"In the Lok Sabha, a spurious argument was raised suddenly only because Rahul Gandhi was the author, irrespective of the merits," Singhvi said.

Another Congress leader, Manish Tewari accused the BJP of playing "negative politics" and creating an atmosphere of mistrust in the country.

"If BJP had supported the bill which the Lok Sabha had passed, the sky would not have fallen. If there were some shortcomings, parliament always has the right to reconsider it," Tewari said.

"We hope the kind of negative politics they did in 2011, will not continue in 2012," he said.

Ravi Shankar Prasad questioned the prime minister's silence on the issue during the debate in the Rajya Sabha.

"During the Lokpal debate in Lok Sabha, the prime minister intervened. Why did he maintain a conspicuous silence in the Rajya Sabha even though he is the leader of the upper house? Was it a political compulsion?" he said.

Prasad also defended the opposition's right to introduce amendments to the bill.

"It is our right to give amendments. If each MP would have given one amendment, there would have been at least 250 amendments," he said.

The Lokpal bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on the first day of the specially-extended three-day session of parliament, while the Rajya Sabha debated the legislation but adjourned without voting on it on the last day.

Tewari also raked up the 2G spectrum scam issue and accused the BJP of creating atmosphere of negativity.

"BJP took the 2G issue and tried to create a strange atmosphere. Today even after two years, there is an argument, inside and outside the parliamentary committee, that whether CAG (Comptroller and Auditor General) has the right to calculate presumptive loss," he said.

"Protest should be on issues, not for the sake of protesting. The kind of atmosphere they have tried to create has had its bearing on investment and trade," Tewari said.






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