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PM practising political opportunism: NDA
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | April 27, 2005 19:01 IST
Last Updated: April 27, 2005 19:15 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party president Lal Kishenchand Advani and National Democratic Alliance convenor George Fernandes on Wednesday criticised Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh for not dropping charge-sheeted Rashtriya Janata Dal leader and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav from his council of ministers.
The NDA, which, on Tuesday night, announced it will boycott parliamentary proceedings for three days, will meet on Monday to chalk out a new strategy in case the government does not act against Yadav.
"The PM is guilty of practising the worst kind of political opportunism, brushing aside all moral principles, scruples and democratic priority," Fernandes told journalists in New Delhi.
He accused the government of allowing Lalu to misuse his political clout to subvert the democratic process.
"The critical observations of the Supreme Court with regard to the attempts that are being made to influence the [probe by] Central Bureau of Investigation into ongoing cases after the United Progressive Alliance government came to power are proof of the sinister influence being exerted by the government to bail out Lalu," he said.
However, Advani admitted that constitutionally and legally there is nothing wrong if Lalu continued as a member of the Union Cabinet. "Lalu should not be in the Cabinet on moral grounds," he added.
The NDA leaders claimed that Advani had set an example by resigning from the Lok Sabha and as leader of the opposition when the hawala charge was levelled against him. "Yashwant Sinha, then leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly, also resigned along with Madan Lal Khurana, who was [then] the chief minister of Delhi," Fernandes added.
He said the UPA government had asked Shibu Soren of the Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha to resign when charges were framed against him in a murder case 'since the UPA is not dependent on the JMM'. But since it is dependent on the RJD support, it is reluctant to ask Lalu to resign, he alleged.
The NDA leaders are planning to meet President A P J Abdul Kalam to seek his intervention to have Lalu removed from the council of ministers.
Unfazed by the opposition's stand, Lalu rejected demands for his resignation and instead demanded the dismissal of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and the imposition of President's rule in Gujarat.
"I will not resign from the government and the NDA's protest is only a diversionary tactic," he told journalists after his separate meetings with Singh and Congress chief Sonia Gandhi.
With inputs from PTI