UPA most corrupt since Independence, says Opposition

New Delhi, April 30 (IANS) The UPA government was the most corrupt since Independence, the opposition parties, including the BJP, said Tuesday while contending that they were not responsible for parliament failing to transact any business.

“I want to tell the nation, parliament has failed to transact any business not because the Opposition is irresponsible but because the current government is the most corrupt one since Independence,” Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj said in the lower house before the Finance Bill was taken up for voting.

She said the government had accused the Opposition of being irresponsible and the prime minister had said the repeated disruptions had made a laughing stock of the country internationally but parliament was not adjourned repeatedly due to the Opposition.

“Not only do they (the government) indulge in scams but also try to cover up (for) the prime minister and other ministers involved,” she alleged.

Parliament has remained paralysed since April 22, when it reconvened for the second half of the budget session after a month-long recess.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had Monday said it would allow the Finance Bill 2013-14 to be passed in the Lok Sabha Tuesday as it did not want a “constitutional crisis”.

“But we will not cooperate with this government anymore,” Sushma Swaraj said Tuesday, noting that the Supreme Court has criticized Law Minister Ashwani Kumar for vetting a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report on coal blocks allocations meant only for the apex court.

“After the Supreme Court said that the government has shaken its faith, this government has no right to be in power,” she said.

The BJP members then walked out in protest.

Other opposition parties including Janata Dal-United, Shiv Sena, Communist Party of India-Marxist, Communist Party of India, AIADMK and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) also walked out.

The Trinamool Congress walked out after party leader Sudip Bandyopadhyay demanded more funds for railway projects in West Bengal.

Even former United Progressive Alliance (UPA) partner DMK walked out over the 2G Joint Parliamentary Committee’s (JPC) draft report, which has blamed party leader and former telecom minister A Raja for the scam while clearing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then finance minister P. Chidambaram of any wrong-doing.

Noting that she was “immensely pained” over the circumstance in which the financial legislation was being passed, Speaker Meira Kumar said she would allow some members to speak “so a discussion is not dispensed with”.

The government said it was “distressed” at the Opposition’s conduct.

“We have nothing to hide… we are distressed to hear her. We are ready to debate any issue but they (opposition) have no response,” said Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.

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