Charging the United Progressive Alliance government with having used its allies in different ways to sabotage voting on the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday condemned it and held it solely responsible to give the nation a strong and effective anti-graft body.

The events “orchestrated” by the government leading to the abrupt adjournment on Thursday, “displays their utter contempt for Parliament. It constitutes a flagrant violation of the very principle of parliamentary democracy,” the Polit Bureau said in a statement.

As it was facing certain defeat because it lacked a majority, the government, to prevent the passage of important amendments moved by the Opposition to strengthen the Bill, blocked the voting by adjourning the House sine die.

The government's intentions had been suspect from the beginning when it brought in a Bill in which the main clauses gave the government control over the Lokpal and reduced the ombudsman to a sarkari institution, the Polit Bureau said.

The CPI(M) moved amendments in both Houses, stating that although the party supported a constitutional amendment for setting up the Lokpal it was against those clauses which militated against the federal character of the Constitution.

In an amendment, the CPI (M) supported the mandatory setting up of Lokayuktas in accordance with the “Sense of the House” resolution adopted in the August session. The party, however, suggested that all clauses in Chapter 3 of the Bill concerning Lokayuktas be taken as guidelines, thus protecting the States' rights to have their own legislation while ensuring that Parliament's commitment to the people to set up a Lokpal as well as Lokayuktas was fulfilled. The CPI(M) would continue its struggle for a strong Lokpal and called upon the people to protest the government's action, the statement said.

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