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Cong has responsibility to convince SP on Lokpall bill: BJP

Anna Hazare

Congress of not being committed to passing Lokpal bill in winter session of Parliament, BJP today said UPA government had the responsibility to convince its ally Samajwadi Party 
Anna Hazare during the fifth day of his indefinite hunger strikeChennai: Accusing Congress of not being committed to passing Lokpal bill in winter session of Parliament, BJP today said UPA government had the responsibility to convince its ally Samajwadi Party about it.

“Samajwadi Party is an alliance party of the UPA.So it is upto the Congress-led UPA to convince them about the bill. That’s why I am saying Congress is not committed about passing the bill,” BJP national spokesperson Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters here.

She said she was sure the views of Mulayam Singh Yadav’s representative, who was part of the select committee, would have been recorded and that Yadav and SP members could always speak of any reservations they have over the bill.

The Centre had on Friday brought back the Lokpal bill in Rajya Sabha in an amended form but its consideration was thwarted by Samajwadi Party, an outside supporter of the UPA government, which disrupted proceedings.

The BJP leader hoped the bill be passed in this session itself, even as Parliament was adjourned for the day today after condoling the death of Union Minister Sis Ram Ola.

To a query on the hung Assembly in Delhi after the polls, she said, “No doubt we are the single largest party after the results. However, we do not have sufficient numbers to form the government. We do not involve in horse trading. I got to see from the media that Kejriwal has sought 10 days from the Lieutenant Governor.”

On her party’s alliance in Tamil Nadu for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, she said BJP has officially not taken any effort for forging an alliances in the state. “Once anybody approaches, the party leadership will take a decision on that. We will go for an alliance which people want.”

Asked about DMK president Karunanidhi’s comment that his party would not ally with NDA as the present day BJP was not the same as when A B Vajpayee was at the helm of affairs, she said, “It is every party’s prerogative to have alliance with a particular party. I cannot comment on that.”

On Karunanidhi’s charge that the 2G case trial by CBI was not fair, she said the agency would be made independent “once BJP forms the government”.

“It cannot be a puppet in the hands of any political party. It is our definite motive to give independence to CBI. All remaining issues are speculative, I do not want to involve.”

On the Cobrapost sting operation, Sitharaman said BJP would watch what action the Parliamentary Privileges Committee was taking on 11 MPs, including three from her party.

“There are two sides to it. One, we have to watch for any Parliamentary proceedings against them. And another is as they are members of BJP, the party will see what action can be taken against them,” she said.

The sting purportedly showed that the MPs were ready to write letters of recommendations and lobby for a fictitious foreign oil company for fees ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 50 lakh.

Asked for her party’s stand on Article 377, dealing with rights of gays, Sitharaman said it is a major issue on which the party would love to hear from the government, because an amendment has to be made to the Constitution on it.

“We would certainly come back with our response.. I know the media is eager for our response, we will come back with our response when it is appropriate.”

On the Telangana issue, she said, “BJP’s stand has been clearly articulated, reiterated… We stand by bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. We want Telangana created. But we are worried in the way it is being implemented in Andhra,” she said and compared the issue to bifurcation of states like Chhatisgarh, Jharkhand and Uttarakhand during NDA rule.

“Why is Andhra Pradesh in such a state of affairs? Why this utter chaos? Why is Congress not able to convince its own Chief Minister in the state? What is its preparedness (for the bifurcation)?” she asked.

Hitting out at Congress, she alleged the country was being run for the last 10 years by a “direction-less and leadership-less” government.

On Congress’ likely move to project Rahul Gandhi as its Prime Ministerial candidate for the LS polls, she said, “If they bring Rahul Gandhi, let them explain what happened to the sitting Prime Minister. Was his performance not satisfactory?”

Asked what was the BJP’s stand was over arrest of an Indian diplomat in the US, she said BJP has not taken a stand on the issue. “It is not a very encouraging sign between two friendly countries. It is unfortunate she was arrested in front of her child.”

Sitharaman also reiterated BJP’s line that Justice A K Ganguly should quit as West Bengal Human Rights Commission Chairman, following sexual harassment charges levelled against him by a law intern.

On the first anniversary of Delhi rape incident, she said, “I wouldn’t say nothing at all has happened. Something has happened. Justice J S Verma went into the entire issue.. of course, in implementing the law, in bringing in police reforms, which is long pending in the country and also expediting the judicial process. I think a lot more has to be done.”


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