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UPA politicising war on terrorism, says BJP

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THE SOUND OF PROTEST: The National Democratic Alliance Opposition took the issues of price rise and terrorism to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Monday. BJP president Rajnath Singh (centre), Murli Manohar Joshi (to Mr. Singh's right) and NDA convener George Fernandes are among the leaders on their way to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to lodge their protest against the UPA Government's handling of the issues. Photo: S. Subramanium
THE SOUND OF PROTEST: The National Democratic Alliance Opposition took the issues of price rise and terrorism to President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Monday. BJP president Rajnath Singh (centre), Murli Manohar Joshi (to Mr. Singh's right) and NDA convener George Fernandes are among the leaders on their way to the Rashtrapati Bhavan to lodge their protest against the UPA Government's handling of the issues. Photo: S. Subramanium

Special Correspondent

BJP leads delegation to submit memorandum to President

Leaders beat `thalis' with spoons to focus on rising prices, farmers' suicides "Burden on common man had become unbearable"Office-of-Profit: "use Article 143 to seek apex court opinion"

NEW DELHI: The monsoon session of Parliament opened with the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in an aggressive mode it led a delegation to the President to criticise the Government for its handling of terrorism and rising prices; it forced Lok Sabha to adjourn; and sounded a "wake up call" to the Government with its leaders and workers sounding gongs and bells at Vijay Chowk here and throughout the country on Monday.

Senior BJP leaders and those of their allies gathered at Vijay Chowk with gongs and `thalis' and beat the `thalis' with spoons to focus attention on rising prices and farmers' suicides before they marched to Rashtrapati Bhawan to hand over a memorandum to President A.P. J. Abdul Kalam. Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, BJP president Rajnath Singh and National democratic Alliance convener George Fernandes were among the signatories.

The memorandum said the United Progressive Alliance Government had consistently sent out signals indicating India was "a soft State" that was "not willing to wage an uncompromising war on terror." It mentioned cross-border terrorism; logistical support being given to terrorists by locals, the establishment of a "Maoist corridor from Nepal to Telengana," and finally, the 7/11 Mumbai blasts and reports that the Lashkar-e-Taiba may have infiltrated into the Indian Air Force. It charged the UPA with "linking the war on terror with vote bank politics."

While blaming the Government for the upward price spiral, it said the burden on the common man had become unbearable.

Office-of-profit bill

But, even though Parliament is yet to discuss the bill on office-of-profit returned by the President after the Budget session, the NDA virtually asked the President to use Article 143 to seek the opinion of the Supreme Court in the event of Parliament returning to him after adopting the unchanged bill for the second time.

In fact, questioning the constitutional provision that the President may seek such an opinion of the Supreme Court only on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers, the NDA said "that question itself can be referred to the Supreme Court" whether if he thinks Parliament had passed a bill illegally, the President "can seek the advisory opinion of the Supreme Court on its own."

In short, the NDA's advice to the President was that he was not bound to give his assent to a bill even when considered and passed again by Parliament.

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