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If you don't want to pass Lokpal Bill, say so: Cong to BJP

Last updated on: December 29, 2011 15:39 IST

If you don't want to pass Lokpal Bill, say so: Cong to BJP

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Criticising the Bharatiya Janata Party for opposing the constitutional status to the Lokpal, the ruling Congress party on Thursday accused the former of suffering from political amnesia, and said the Parliament has the right to make law of India.

Charging the opposition of stalling the process in passing an effective Lokpal Bill, Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi said history would never forgive the BJP for not assisting the government in passing the historic legislation.

Participating in a debate on Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, Singhvi said: "We would have invited Jaitley to help gift us a strong Lokpal as a birthday present, but the BJP is parsimonious in giving birthday presents.  So, don't do it for our sake, but join us in passing a Lokpal Bill for the sake of the nation."

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'Thank God you did not say judgement must also come from Lokpal'

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"No use putting a string of conditionalities in your statements. No use saying I want to pass a strong effective bill after three months after referring it again to a committee, after further discussions. You are using conditionality as a pretext not to pass the Bill. If you don't want to pass the Bill, say so. Have the courage of your convictions," he added, while hitting out at the comments made by senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley earlier during the debate.

Commenting on the ongoing row over the inclusion of Central Bureau of Investigation under the ambit of the anti-graft legislation, Singhvi said: "On the process of CBI and investigation, let us look at it seriously, not with the intent to ridicule. The CBI is a 70-year-old organisation. Should the birth of a Lokpal mean automatic destruction of every other institution? A 10-year-old CVC, a 70-year-old CBI?"

"You want one Lokpal, subsume CVC and CBI under Lokpal, move Citizen's Charter under Lokpal, allow Lokpal suo moto power, have preliminary inquiry by Lokpal, actual investigation by Lokpal, prosecution by Lokpal. Thank God you did not say judgement must also come from Lokpal. You are creating a behemoth of unimaginable proportions. PM's office will look like pygmy in comparison," he added.

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'You are making a body outside the whole system, with inherent conflict of interest'

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Accusing the Opposition of creating a breeding ground for corruption, Singhvi said: "You are making a body outside the whole system, with inherent conflict of interest. Our conception is of checks and balances -- of equilibrium between holy trinity of CBI, CVC and Lokpal. That is how our Constitution is framed. This bill abolishes need for prior sanction for investigation against govt servants."

"We have said for 60 years we should have some difference between prosecution and investigation. This separation is created by the Bill. Which body does not offer slight majority for government in selection? Now we must create a law where government will be in minority in selection," he added.

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Tags: CVC , CBI , Bill , Singhvi

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'I hope nobody thinks CAG or CVC are 'sarkari' bodies'

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Taking a dig at the BJP for wanting the administrative control of the CBI to be given to Lokpal, Singhvi said: "I hope nobody thinks CAG or CVC are ''sarkari'' bodies.  They are independent in action in the Constitution. They have controlling authorities in different ministries."


"But just to earn a few brownie points, or because of state elections, you want to alter the structure so administrative authority does not lie anywhere," he added.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley had earlier during the debate on Lokpal Bill hit out at the Centre, and said that the UPA Government is trying to make a constitutional cocktail.

"Does UN Convention Against Corruption tell us what will be caste and religion of Lokayukta in the states? You are citing that convention. You have created a new Constitution! This is for the first time I am seeing a new Constitution being created," said Jaitley.


"What you are creating is a government-controlled authority that will be so intrusive that it will enter every area of private life. Don't think for a second that other members of the House will support you on this. The officer against who the Lokpal orders an investigation must be given legal aid. Why must you shed crocodile tears?" he added, while emphasising that the anti-graft law brought by the government is constitutionally vulnerable

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