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Parties cry foul, BJP wants government to resign

Source: PTI
December 30, 2011 01:36 IST

Political parties, including United Progressive Alliance ally Trinamool Congress, on Thursday night cried foul after the Rajya Sabha failed to pass the Lokpal Bill terming it as a "black day" for democracy and the Opposition demanded the resignation of the government for losing "political and moral authority".

"The developments are sad, sad, sad... it was an orchestrated chaos," said Trinamool MP Derek O' Brien after the midnight drama when the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die without completion of debate on the Lokpal Bill.

Bharatiya Janata Party leader Arun Jaitley said the events were "well orchestrated" by the government as it wanted to "run away" from voting because of lack of numbers.

"It is a political and a moral defeat for the government. A government which runs away from vote has no right to remain in power... This government has been thoroughly exposed. It has conspired to avoid a vote. The government has lost its political authority and moral authority to rule," he said.

Noting that Parliament is supreme, he said, "the government has succeeded in subverting the Indian Parliament today. I am sure the people of the country will not spare this government."

"The whole action was choreographed since yesterday and speakers were made to continue the debate. The minister put up a reply. His reply could not be understood by anyone, but he also continued," Jaitley said.

He said the government had engineered disruption through its "ally" Rashtriya Janata Dal, whose member Rajniti Prasad created ruckus and tore a copy of the Lokpal Bill after snatching it from Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy.

The BJP leader said that by not passing the bill in the Rajya Sabha, the promise made to the country has been broken "not because of the Opposition but because the government did not want a strong Lokpal."

He said, "It is highly improper for the government to remain in power."

Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj said, "It is a dark night for Indian democracy. Today, democracy has been disrobed in Rajya Sabha. The prime minister and Shri Pranab Mukherjee witnessed this as silent spectators."

She accused the prime minister and Mukherjee of being "party to this ugly drama" and alleged that "this conspiracy was hatched under their direction".

Bahujan Samaj Party leader Satish C Mishra termed it as a "loss of face" for the government and accused it of indulging in drama.

He said the government had no intention of passing the bill. "It is unprecedented. The government played the trick to avoid a sure defeat of the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha," he said, adding the people of poll-bound Uttar Pradesh will teach the Congress a lesson.

Communist Party of India leader D Raja said it was a "midnight assault" on democracy.

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