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'Civil society group has right to form political party'

August 02, 2012 21:42 IST

In the wake of Team Anna stating that it is considering a political alternative, Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday said the civil society group has every right to form a political party and nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from contesting the elections.

Dismissing suggestions that Team Anna may pose a threat to the prospects of BJP if it emerges as a political alternative, the main opposition maintained there have always been several parties in the political battlefield.

"There are more than 60 politcal parties and seven national parties in India. Everybody has a right to form a party and to contest the elections. Nobody has the authority to prevent anybody from entering the fray," BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said.

He pointed out that when BJP's predecessor, Jan Sangh, was formed in 1952 there was one-party dominance of the Congress. Yet, the BJP has on Thursday emerged as a formidable opponent.

Asked if BJP would support Team Anna if it enters politics, Hussain said "we will join forces with whoever raises his voice against corruption."

However, when asked if Team Anna's proposed political outfit could be a part of the National Democratic Alliance, Hussain said let the party be formed first.

In an apparent attempt to blame the government for Thursday's declaration by Team Anna that it will explore possibilities of becoming a political alternative, BJP said had the Lokpal Bill been passed in December, things would not have come to such a pass.

"If the government had not engaged in such drama as it did on December 29, 2011, when the Rajya Sabha was abruptly adjourned, the Lokpal Bill would have been passed,"  Hussain said.

The BJP alleged that the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance do not want to pass the Lokpal Bill as it has 'tainted' ministers.

"This government fears that if the Lokpal Bill is passed, several of its ministers will have to go to jail," Hussain said.

The opposition party claimed it is serious about passing the Lokpal Bill but accused the government of not showing any seriousness.

"The Bill has been referred to a Select Committee of the Rajya Sabha. Arun Jaitley, who is a senior lawyer, himself joined the Committee," Hussain said, adding that despite all this, the government did not appear to be serious about passing the Bill.

PTI
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