BJP ‘disappointed’ with Lokpal bill, Lalu fumes

New Delhi : Strongly objecting to the “unconstitutional” minority quota provision in the Lokpal bill, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Thursday demanded that the government withdraw the legislation and bring in a fresh document.

“We are disappointed. This is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court has given dozens of rulings stating that any reservation should not be more than 50 percent,” Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj told the house after the government tabled the anti-graft Lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha.

The bill envisages the setting up of an ombudsman to check corruption in the country and bringing the prime minister under its ambit. It has also kept a provision of 50 percent reservation for Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, women and minorities.

“Take it back, return with a fresh pro-constitutional bill and we will pass that,” the BJP leader said.

The Samajwadi Party led by Mulayam Singh Yadav also opposed the bill and said it should not be moved beyond the introductory stage as it did not provide the basis of a strong Lokpal.

Lalu Prasad of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), opposing the bill, however, complimented the government for the minority provision and lashed out at the BJP for opposing it.

He criticised the government for hurrying with the legislation under duress, a reference to the agitation by social activist Anna Hazare and his team.

“What is going on?” he asked, referring to Hazare’s protest threat outside the residence of Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi.

“We in parliament have to decide about the bill. Don’t do anything wrong fearing the agitation. Whatever right is to be done we will do that. We want a Lokpal bill but it has to be strong. This is not a strong bill.”

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