New Delhi, Dec 30: BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj today said UPA government has lost its moral right to rule after running away from the vote on Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha on Thursday night.
At a press conference here, when Jaitley was asked whether he expected the Lokpal Bill to be taken up in the budget session, he quipped: “Yes, only if Lok Sabha is not dissolved by that time and the bill does not lapse.”
“This government's speciality seems to be to fix and manipulate as it did during the 2008 cash-for-vote scam. When the going is good, the managers and fixers have their way, but yesterday they failed”, he said.
“It was Delhi's worst kept secret on Thursday evening that the government would not get the Lokpal Bill passed in Rajya Sabha as most tv channels had already predicted. To bail themselves out, they first got their friendly party (RJD) to orchestrate a disturbance, but that too failed”, he said.
“The UPA government's equilibrium has also been disturbed with one of their allies deciding to oppose the bill. Any government that runs away from a vote, does not have the moral right to stay even for a minute”, Jaitley said.
The government, he said, gave the excuse that it had 187 amendments and need time to study them, but most of the amendments were only on three main points : putting CBI under Lokpal, selection of Lokpal and refrain from thrusting Lokayuktas on the states.
If we had a more competent Parliamentary Affairs ministry, these amendments could have been sorted out during the voting, he said.
BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, this government has “blackened its face” on the last day of the session and it was nothing but “disrobing of democracy” as was done with Draupadi in the epic Mahabharata.
Even in the Mahabharata, while Bhishma and Drona sat silent when Draupadi was disrobed, yesterday the disrobing was done at the instance of the PM and Pranab Mukherjee, she alleged.
This government, she said, wants to dump the Lokpal bill, after it lost the Constitutional Amendment Bill and also dumped its decision on FDI in retail.
We in Lok Sabha during the voicevote has said No to the passage of Lokpal Bill, but here in Rajya Sabha, it was their ally TMC which stalled the bill, Sushma Swaraj said.
This government is now hollow from inside, but its arrogance is that of a ruling party having 400 MPs, she said. It is time now for the Congress to introspect, as it has lost the majority, otherwise we will force this government to resign by taking to the streets.
Jaitley questioned the government's contention that the Rajya Sabha session was to adjourn sine die at 12 midnight.
“When the house is in session, it's the master of its own timetable. The Presiding Officer takes the sense of the house and could have run the House late into the night, he said.
“There was no disturbance or counter-disturbance, there was only ‘choreographed' disturbance', he said. That disturbance was intended to bail out the government, he added.
Sushma Swaraj said, we are surprised neither the Prime Minister nor Pranab Mukherjee spoke in the Rajya Sabha on such an important debate though they were present in the House.
Jaitley quipped that the task of replying to the debate was giving to V Narayanasamy, whose voice was already hoarse yesterday and the Congress did not want the RJD MP to snatch the notes from either the PM or Pranab Mukherjee. It was left to Narayanasamy.
On Chairman Hamid Ansari's ruling, Jaitley said, I have very strong views on that ruling, but I will still prefer to keep it to myself, because it's the tradition in Parliament not to comment on rulings from the Chair.