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