Monday, July 4, 2011

All-party meet on Lokpal seals the fate of team Anna

It's a typical case of closing of a shop. "Dukan band ho chuki hae," as they put it.
Aftermath the all-party meet, should the government take advantage of the underlining message about supremacy of parliament as echoed by political class cutting across party lines and show the civil society members led by Anna Hazare their place?
“Unki dukan kal hi band hi gayi hae (The civil society Anna Hazare-led
group’s agitation spirit has almost waned out yesterday itself),”
remarked a senior political leader of a north-India based party
stressing that the rare unanimity shown by the political parties in
yesterday’s all-party meeting on Lokpal should serve as an ‘exemplary
guide’ in the future.
Leaders from Samajwadi Party, RJD, JD (U) and Shiramani Akali Dal
(SAD) and BJP among others underlined during the meeting more than
once that the government should not “repeat its past mistake” and
uphold the supremacy of the parliament. Referring to the setting up of
a joint drafting committee, the common refrain of the political
leaders cutting across party lines was, “This was an unprecedented
move”.
“I won’t call it a moral defeat for government or otherwise. Rather
the government should take advantage of yesterday’s meeting and show
the civil society their place,” another leader said.
Sources said during the meeting despite tense moments when the battery
of government representatives including the stalwarts like Mr Pranab
Mukherjee, Mr A K Antony, Ms Sonia Gandhi, Mr Kapil Sibal and Mr
Veerappa Moily were “rendered into silence”; light moments also
prevailed with opposition leaders taking pot shot at the government’s
decision to give “undue importance” to the Anna Hazare group.
Other than the Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh’s opening remarks and
a brief argument between senior leaders from both sides, it was
basically a show of the opposition and those parties supporting the
government from outside.

“This is not the way to end an agitation,” SP leader Mr Mohan Singh
reportedly said at the meeting.
At one point of time, Mr Singh ridiculed the government move and
joked, “the manner in which you all gave importance to street
fighters. You should have also circulated a biodata of Anna Hazare for
our perusal”.
Mr Sitaram Yechury of CPI (M) almost echoed the similar sentiments
saying, “till now the government was dealing with civil society, it
appears today you are meeting uncivil group” – predictably throwing
the entire house into peals of laughter.
Sources said at the end of the meeting as almost entire political
class stressed on preserving the supremacy of the parliament, JD (U)
leader Mr Sharad Yadav termed the ‘day’ as a “victory of parliamentary
democracy”.
RJD chief Mr Lalu Prasad said while all MPs were elected by the
people, he also wanted to know how many people would elect Hazare. The
versatile orator’s remarks also drew much laughter when he disfavoured
including the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal. “Aaj
Manmohan Singh hae ….. Kal Advaniji ho sakte haen …. Kyon Advaniji,”
he reportedly asked even as at the same moment others remarked that
Laluji was intentionally avoiding his own name as he too once
considered himself in the race for the top post. The parties like
AIADMK, Samajwadi and Akali Dal also disfavoured including Prime
Minister and higher judiciary under Lokpal, but the CPI (M) said the
government should bring a strong legislation with PM also covered
under its jurisdiction.
Joseji
From Nirendra

Parties flay government for undermining the supremacy of parliament

statesman news service

NEW DELHI, JULY 3. - A large number of political parties including
from opposition camp and those supporting the UPA regime from
‘outside’ like the Samajwadi Party of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr Lalu
Prasad-led RJD and AGP from Assam today blasted at the government for
“undermining” the supremacy of the parliament and said the all-party
meet on Lokpal was long overdue.
“We told them strongly that it is the job of the government to bring
any legislation before the parliament before sharing it with any
outside element (civil society),” SP general secretary and party MP Mr
Mohan Singh, who attended the meeting, later said here.
He said the government should bring an “sashakt effective” and strong Lokpal
Bill in the Parliament where the members can discuss in detail on its
structure and the ambit of the Lokpal and other issues.
“I was very firm that the government should not lower the dignity of the
Parlaiment as they did by setting up a joint drafting panel while
ignoring the opposition and even parties like us who are extending
outside support,” he said adding the
the government cannot bring a draft by talking to people “on the streets.”
Several other parties endorsed similar views. Ranbir Singh of INLD led
by Om Prakash Chautala said, “ We want an effective Lokpal Bill which
should cover the Prime Minister, judiciary and the conducts of MPs
within its jurisdiction”
RJD chief Mr Lalu Prasad also strongly stressed on the need to protect
the dignity of the parliament and said, “120 crore people elect us,
who elects them” referring to the importance given by the government
to the Anna Hazare-led group for drafting a bill.
Many members said such a move was “unprecedented”; whiole a few even
joked next time the government could enlist members from terror and
Naxal groups while framing legislations.
Mr Sharad Yadav, JD(U) leader and NDA convenor was more point blank in
stating that any discussion on the ‘Jan Lok Pal bill at this juncture
was futile”.
“We wanted this all-party meeting, it was over due. I am happy to
state that the whole opposition was united that the government should
first bring a ‘formal bill’ then only we will discuss on it. What is
the point of any draft at this point,” he said.
AGP member Mr Biren Baishya said in 1996 when the United Front took
over the common minimum programme had enshrined inclusion of Prime
Minister under the ambit of Lokpal and that should be honoured. He
also ridiculed the manner the Congress-led regime had undermined the
supremacy of the parliament. However, the ruling party members
including senior ministers strongly denied that the government had any
intention to undermine the supremacy of the parliament.
AIADMK member M Thambidurai toed his party boss Ms Jayalalitha’s line
and said the civil society members were harping on a wrong line that
the Prime Minister’s Office should be covered and said, Frivolous
complaints against the PM will derail the process.”
The Opposition was represented by BJP veteran L K Advani, Leaders of
Opposition Sushma Swaraj (Lok Sabha) and Arun Jaitley (Rajya Sabha),
NDA Convenor and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, S S Dhindsa (SAD), Sitaram
Yechury (CPI-M), Gurudas Dasgupta and D Raja (both CPI), Lalu Prasad
(RJD) and V Maitreyan and M Thambidurai (both AIADMK) and Satish
Mishra (BSP) .

It goes without stating a large number of political parties including
from opposition camp and those supporting the UPA regime from
‘outside’ like the Samajwadi Party of Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav, Mr Lalu
Prasad-led RJD and AGP from Assam blasted the government for
“undermining” the supremacy of the parliament and said the all-party
meet on Lokpal was long overdue.
“We told them strongly that it is the job of the government to bring
any legislation before the parliament before sharing it with any
outside element (civil society),” SP general secretary and party MP Mr
Mohan Singh, who attended the meeting, later said here.
He said the government should bring an “sashakt effective” and strong Lokpal Bill in the Parliament where the members can discuss in detail on its structure and the ambit of the Lokpal and other issues.
“I was very firm that the government should not lower the dignity of the
Parlaiment as they did by setting up a joint drafting panel while
ignoring the opposition and even parties like us who are extending
outside support,” he said adding the the government cannot bring a draft by talking to people “on the streets.”
Several other parties endorsed similar views. Ranbir Singh of INLD led
by Om Prakash Chautala said, “ We want an effective Lokpal Bill which
should cover the Prime Minister, judiciary and the conducts of MPs
within its jurisdiction”
RJD chief Mr Lalu Prasad also strongly stressed on the need to protect
the dignity of the parliament and said, “120 crore people elect us,
who elects them” referring to the importance given by the government
to the Anna Hazare-led group for drafting a bill.
Many members said such a move was “unprecedented”; whole a few even
joked next time the government could enlist members from terror and
Naxal groups while framing legislations.
Mr Sharad Yadav, JD(U) leader and NDA convenor was more point blank in
stating that any discussion on the ‘Jan Lok Pal bill at this juncture
was futile”.
AGP member Mr Biren Baishya said in 1996 when the United Front took
over the common minimum programme had enshrined inclusion of Prime
Minister under the ambit of Lokpal and that should be honoured. He
also ridiculed the manner the Congress-led regime had undermined the
supremacy of the parliament. However, the ruling party members
including senior ministers strongly denied that the government had any
intention to undermine the supremacy of the parliament.
AIADMK member M Thambidurai toed his party boss Ms Jayalalitha’s line
and said the civil society members were harping on a wrong line that
the Prime Minister’s Office should be covered and said, Frivolous
complaints against the PM will derail the process.”
The Opposition was represented by BJP veteran L K Advani, Leaders of
Opposition Sushma Swaraj (Lok Sabha) and Arun Jaitley (Rajya Sabha),
NDA Convenor and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, S S Dhindsa (SAD), Sitaram
Yechury (CPI-M), Gurudas Dasgupta and D Raja (both CPI), Lalu Prasad
(RJD) and V Maitreyan and M Thambidurai (both AIADMK) and Satish
Mishra (BSP) .

(ends)

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