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Updated: August 31, 2011 01:00 IST

Gujarat Lokayukta issue rocks Parliament

Special Correspondent
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In this file picture Gujarat Governor Kamala Beniwal is seen with Chief Minister Narendra Modi at Ahmedabad airport. Gujarat is the second State, after Karnataka, to witness a confrontation between the government and the Governor over the issue of Lokayukta. File photo
PTI
In this file picture Gujarat Governor Kamala Beniwal is seen with Chief Minister Narendra Modi at Ahmedabad airport. Gujarat is the second State, after Karnataka, to witness a confrontation between the government and the Governor over the issue of Lokayukta. File photo

BJP demands recall of Governor Kamla Beniwal for "violating nation's federal structure"

Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned on Tuesday following an uproar over the appointment of the Lokayukta in Gujarat. The Bharatiya Janata Party termed it “undemocratic'' and demanded the recall of Governor Kamla Beniwal. It accused her of violating the federal structure of the country as guaranteed in the Constitution.

No business could be transacted in the Lok Sabha as it was adjourned repeatedly owing to disruptions.

The Rajya Sabha saw similar scenes during zero hour and had to be adjourned till 2 p.m. The question hour proceeded normally.

Earlier, the BJP gave notices in both Houses for the suspension of the question hour to discuss, what it claimed, the violation of Article 163 that stated the Governor should act according to the advice of the Council of Ministers.

The Congress tried to counter the Opposition by raising the acquittal of all the 12 accused in the murder of the former Gujarat Home Minister, Haren Pandya.

“We are going to approach the President seeking the recall of the Governor,” veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani said in the Lok Sabha amid frequent interruptions by a section of Congress members from Gujarat.

Raising the matter when the House reassembled at noon, Mr. Advani said the Constitution provided that the Governor would act on the “aid and advice of the Council of Ministers.'' It was violated in the case of Gujarat as the Governor appointed the Lokayukta without consulting the Chief Minister. “Therefore, it is a fit case to be taken up by the House. Parliament can take note of it. We will raise the matter with the President. We will seek the recall of the Governor,” he said.

As soon as the Lok Sabha met, BJP members rushed to the well, waving placards and shouting slogans.

In the Rajya Sabha, Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley alleged that this “constitutional crisis” was created at the behest of those in power in Delhi and that the Governor should not stay in office.

The BJP members alleged that the appointment was a breach of federal principles and accused the Governor of acting at the behest of the UPA government.

In the morning, Mr. Advani led the party MPs from Gujarat in protesting outside the Parliament House.

The Governor appointed R.A Mehta as the Lokayukta on August 26.

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