Wednesday, December 21, 2011

SP, RJD oppose Lokpal Bill; BJP mum as Congress 'ready' for fight

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As the government prepared to table Lokpal Bill in Parliament on Thursday,Samajwadi Party and RJD today opposed the legislation, contending that it would give "all powers" to the police.

SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav and RJD chief Lalu Prasad made their opposition known in the Lok Sabha after BSP raised an unrelated issue of manhandling of one of its MPs by SPG personnel inside Parliament complex. Yadav warned the government that the proposed legislation would give "all powers" to the police.

"Lokpal will not be in your hands. It will go to the hands of police. Nothing can be done then against the police," he said and apparently referred to Anna Hazare as he asked whether all this could be done "under pressure of one man".

He said his party will oppose as much as it can. "These powers will go to the police, they will not respect us (MPs). superintendents of police and district magistrates will send us to jail," Yadav said.

"Think over it seriously as to whom you are going to give powers," Yadav told the government. "May you have the powers, I have no objection. Let the Prime Minister have the powers, let (Sharad) Pawar 'sahab' have the powers, I have no objection. But by giving all powers to the police, what do you want to do with this country?... This incident (of manhandling) has happened today.

See what happens when Lokpal comes," the Samajwadi Party chief said. RJD chief Lalu Prasad joined Yadav, saying that he had not raised any insignificant issue but the government was not paying attention as if it had "disappeared".

Kiran Bedi attacks Sonia

Team Anna member Kiran Bedi on Wednesday attacked Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on Lokpal issue by sarcastically thanking her while alleging that the bill for setting up an anti-corruption ombudsman was not pathbreaking but breaking the path.

"The bill is not path breaking but breaking the path. Thank you Sonia G," Bedi said in micro-blogging site Twitter.

"Sonia G is saying she is fighting for a Lokpal. Is it for or against Lokpal? For there is nothing for Lokpal," she said reacting to Gandhi's speech in Congress Parliamentary Party meeting where the Congress chief asserted that she will fight for the passage of the Lokpal bill in Parliament.

Bedi's remarks came as Gandhi hit out at the Opposition for "obstructionist" tactics and Team Anna for "deliberate and malicious" criticism of the Government on the Lokpal issue.

The Team Anna member was critical of government's move to keep CBI out of Lokpal's control, saying this kind of Lokpal Bill better not be passed or else it will destroy whatever is left of CBI.

"The government is creating an anti-corruption body without any wherewithal for investigation. Who is fooling whom?" she said.

"It appears till a provision for immunity is guaranteed for past acts of corruption, political parties will ensure CBI remains in government control," she said, adding it was now 'Save CBI' campaign.

She also appealed to BJP leaders Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley to help getting CBI out of government control. "Will you (Swaraj) and Mr (Arun) Jaitley get us?" she asked.

Bedi said, "Have you ever heard of creating an investigating body without any investigating body? Are we dumb citizens who can be given anything?"

I will fight for Lokpal Bill: Sonia
Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday backed the government on the Lokpal Bill saying she would fight for its passage.

"I will fight for Lokpal," she told reporters after addressing the general body meeting of the Congress Parliamentary Party (CPP).

She told the MPs that on Tuesday the government has approved the Lokpal Bill, which is to be introduced and passed.

Gandhi referred to the opposition criticism that Congress and the government was not doing anything to tackle the scourge of corruption and said "this is deliberate and malicious misinformation."
No comment on Lokpal bill for now: BJP (IANS)

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