Government has failed to consult Opposition on Lokpal Bill, he says
A couple of hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had an interaction with five editors on Wednesday, Bharatiya Janata Party president Nitin Gadkari called an urgent press conference and denounced the government for the “treatment” meted out to yoga expert Ramdev on the Ramlila grounds earlier this month and its failure to consult the Opposition parties before interacting with the civil society on the Lokpal Bill.
And, Mr. Gadkari saw failure on the part of the “renowned economist” Prime Minister in handling the economy.
On the basis of television footage — the editors who met Dr. Singh for nearly two hours gave TV bytes as they came out of the meeting— Mr. Gadkari said that despite several promises that found a mention in the Congress manifesto, the Prime Minister failed to check double-digit food inflation. He questioned the veracity of Dr. Singh's claim that inflation was increasing globally.
“In India, it is the result of bad governance, wrong policies and corruption. The economist Prime Minister has completely failed in his examination … the people have been betrayed,” he said.
On the Lokpal Bill, his complaint was that the BJP and other Opposition parties were not consulted or taken into confidence. Only after negotiations with the civil society reached a deadlock, did the government thought of calling an all-party meeting. The Leaders of the Opposition in the two Houses of Parliament ought to have been consulted earlier. There was no reason now for the government to complain of non-cooperation from the BJP.
“Whenever the Bill is introduced, let the government talk to the LOPs [Leaders of the Opposition], and we will make suggestions at that stage. We will express our view and cooperate [with the government] if we agree with the provisions of the Bill and oppose if we disagree,” he said.
Mr. Gadkari alleged that the government was behaving like a lame duck and comatose government. A senior Congress leader had indicated that the time had come for Rahul Gandhi to take over as prime minister. This showed what the Congress itself thought of the Manmohan Singh government, he said.
The government should explain why it sent five Ministers to receive Ramdev and then cracked down on his followers. And now, the government was threatening to give Anna Hazare a similar treatment, the BJP chief added.