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PM has a lot to explain: BJP
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | October 07, 2005 18:01 IST
Last Updated: October 07, 2005 21:38 IST
Arun Jaitley, general secretary of Bharatiya Janata Party and incharge of the Bihar elections, said that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has a lot to explain for misleading the entire country on the Bihar House dissolution issue when he said the government had no option but to impose President's rule in the state because there was the worst kind of horse trading going on for the formation of the government there.
Stopping short of asking for the resignation of Dr Singh, Jaitley said that it was Dr Singh as the prime minister of the country who had convened the meeting of the cabinet at midnight of May 22, 2005, and approved the proposal to impose President's rule in the state and send the message to the President of India, who was then on tour, for his approval.
"Imposing President's rule on May 23 was a complete and absolute fraud committed on the Constitution by the United Progressive Alliance government. It was a dark deed done in dark hours with a view to prevent Nitish Kumar, who had clear majority on his side, taking oath as the chief minister of Bihar. Governor of Bihar Buta Singh, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav were conspirators in this conspiracy hatched against the National Democratic Alliance led by Nitish Kumar. Buta Singh in his report said that the RJD legislators were getting restive and they preferred dissolution to a democratic government. This happened because Lalu Yadav could manage to blackmail the UPA government at the Centre," he added.
He chose not to answer the question when asked if Buta Singh could be prosecuted for taking A wrong decision as had been demanded by one of the NDA leaders. "He has immunity from prosecution as governor," Jaitley said.
He claimed that the order has come as a shot in the arm for the National Democratic Alliance and that they would win hands down and come to power after the election. He rejected the Congress claim that politics and judicial verdict should be kept apart. "How can they say this? After all, our questioning of a political decision in the Supreme Court had led to this situation. I hope the order of the court would prevent misuse of Article 356 in future," he said.
Later, a senior member of the Union government and a noted lawyer admitted to newsmen, on the condition that he would not be quoted, that the Law Ministry had mishandled the whole case right from the word go. "Can you imagine that in the annexures, the Law Ministry has sent the cutting of a newspaper report that carries the dateline of May 24, 2005, a day after President's rule was imposed in Bihar. This is the kind of report that was sent to the President of India for approval after he returned from a foreign tour," the minister said.
Describing the Supreme Court's ruling in the Bihar case as a 'slap on the face of the United Progressive Alliance Government', the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Friday demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Bihar Governor Buta Singh.
"The UPA government, especially Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, if they have any morality, should immediately resign," VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore said.
"Buta Singh definitely was in the wrong. But the Union Cabinet ought to have discerned between what was right and wrong," he said.
He demanded that politically active people should not be made governor. "Only social activists or intellectuals who are impartial should be appointed governors," Kishore said.
Meanwhile, he denied that Thursday's attack on BJP leader Ravishankar Prasad during an election rally in Bihar was carried out by a VHP member and alleged it was a gimmick resorted to by RJD chief Lalu Prasad to gain political mileage.
"I can say with conviction that there is no person by that name in VHP," Kishore said.