New Delhi, Jun 6: Accusing the UPA government of attacking civil liberties, a delegation of BJP-led NDA met President Pratibha Patil on Monday to demand convening of a special session of Parliament to discuss the issue of black money and police action against Baba Ramdev and his supporters.
A delegation of NDA leaders led by BJP Parliamentary Party Chairman L K Advani met the President and handed over a memorandum demanding immediate convening of a special session of Parliament and passage of a resolution declaring the ill-gotten money stashed away abroad as national asset.
The memorandum said in the special session, the opposition wants to "compel" the government to explain its "brutal action against peaceful protesters and apologise for this attack on civil liberties and democratic rights".
It said the opposition also favoured passage of a resolution declaring all Indian money stashed away in foreign banks as a national asset.
A similar demand was made by Baba Ramdev during his agitation here.
A Rashtrapati Bhavan spokesperson said, "The President met the NDA delegation led by L K Advani. Advani requested the President to summon a special session of Parliament to explain the action taken against protesters or civil society activists and to discuss issues related to corruption and black money".
The President gave them a patient hearing and assured the delegation that the memorandum will be examined and sent to the government for appropriate action.
"The President reminded that receiving a delegation and memorandum have never been a mere formality and that appropriate follow up action has always been taken," the spokesperson said.
BJP, whose top leaders are holding a satyagraha at Rajghat here to protest the crackdown on Ramdev and his supporters, accused the government of "shielding and protecting" the corrupt.
Talking to reporters after meeting the President, Advani said the government should introduce a legislation to empower enforcement authorities to take "severe penal action against those who have indulged in such criminal pilferage of national resources."
The memorandum said the prime issue raised by Ramdev as well as other civil society leaders pertain to steps that need to be taken to dismantle the corrupt edifice that has been built in this country over the years.
"In particular, people want the wealth siphoned off from India to be returned to our coffers," said the memorandum.
The memorandum recalled that after the UPA 2 regime was installed, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh solemnly pledged to initiate all necessary steps to undertake this mission.
"For two years, Your Excellency, your Government has slept over it. Is it any wonder then, that frustrated by the Government's somnolence and stone-walling tactics, people's anger is spilling over?," it read.
It claimed that after the police action against Ramdev, "the Government's intentions are clearer than ever. It has no plan to implement this popular demand. Understandably, therefore, widespread allegations are being voiced that the powers that be are busy protecting some persons who have indulged in this criminal pilferage."
Besides Advani, the delegation included party president Nitin Gadkari, Leaders of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley respectively, SAD MP Naresh Gujral, Shiv Sena MP Bharat Kumar Raut and JD(U) MP Ram Sundar Das. PTI