“Let government say whether it added suggestions made at all-party meet”

Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad and Samajwadi Party president Mulayam Singh on Wednesday hinted at opposing the introduction of the Lokpal Bill in the Lok Sabha.

In the Lok Sabha, both these leaders used the issue of harassment of a BSP MP by SPG personnel to air their views on the Lokpal Bill. Mr. Prasad demanded that the government first state whether it had incorporated the suggestions made at the all-party meeting before introducing the Bill.

“You [chair] say maintain silence. Have we come here to maintain silence? We are here to shape the future of the country. We are going to take such a momentous decision without applying our minds. Everyone is being told to jump into the ditch, push the country. This will not happen. You [the government] decide,” the RJD chief said.

Supporting the point of order raised by the SP chief, Mr. Prasad regretted that the government was not paying attention and charged it with giving powers [to the Lokpal] to “slit the throats” of all.

He again demanded that the government take the members into confidence before asking for support to pass the Bill. “We'll decide only after seeing it. Some SPG is shoving an MP, tomorrow a daroga [police inspector] will use his elbow, slap…”

Mr. Singh raked up the issue accusing the government of seeking to give similar powers to the police. “The Lokpal Bill is not in your hands. It is in the hands of the daroga. Nothing can be done even against the daroga.”

Without naming social activist Anna Hazare, Mr. Singh questioned how the government could act in this fashion at the behest of one man. “By all means we'll oppose to the extent we can.”

Once the powers were vested with the daroga, the Superintendent of Police and the District Magistrate, the SP chief warned, they would not respect the members and send them to jail whenever they wanted.

“Seriously think as to whom you are vesting the powers with. If it is in the hands of the Prime Minister, I've no objection. But if you want to give it to a daroga what do you want to do with the entire country?”

Keywords: Lokpal Bill issueSPRJD