Vowing to “expose” the government on the Lokpal Bill issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday demanded that it should quit and hold fresh elections as it had “lost” majority in both Houses of Parliament.
“The government has lost a majority in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha... This government should quit and hold fresh elections,” BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said, a day after the Rajya Sabha failed to pass the Lokpal Bill.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, “the BJP core group would be meeting later today to decide what it will do on the road (on the Lokpal issue). We will expose the government on the road and make the public aware in the wake of yesterday’s developments. We will take up this Bill in the next session and expose the government there also.” Mr. Jaitley said, “The government has lost its political equilibrium. The balance of this government has also been disturbed.”
Terming yesterday’s events as unfortunate, Mr. Jaitley said, “This was an act of political suicide with respect to the government’s own credibility. “A government which runs away from voting, has no political or moral right to stay in power.” Ms. Swaraj, on the other hand, said, “It is a defeat of an arrogant government.... It should do some introspection... The government wants to dump the Bill.”
Charging the government with “orchestrating” the events on Thursday to avoid voting on the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, Mr. Jaitley said, “Government created disturbance with the help of a friendly party to run away from vote... If government shies away from voting on amendments it does not want, it is a sad day for Parliamentary democracy.” Mr. Jaitley said there were only three major amendments sought by the BJP and the session could have been extended to allow voting on the Bill.
He also cast aspersions on the competency of Parliamentary Affairs department and found the statement of Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal “curious” that it needed time to work on the 187-odd amendments sought in the Bill.
He said the three basic amendments could have been brought in “if we had a more competent Parliamentary Affairs department”.