Special Correspondent

Opposition cites apex court verdict on Bihar dissolution case

Government assailed for dragging President's office into taking the decision Not expected of Dr. Singh: Prabhunath Singh

NEW DELHI: Led by the Janata Dal (United), the Opposition in the Lok Sabha on Monday demanded Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's resignation in the light of the Supreme Court judgment holding the dissolution of the Bihar Assembly as "unconstitutional and illegal."

Raising the issue after question hour, the Opposition said it was not enough to make a scapegoat of the former Bihar Governor, Buta Singh, since it was the Manmohan Singh Government which ultimately took the decision to dissolve the Assembly. Also, it took exception to the manner in which the Government "dragged" the office of the President into taking an "illegal and unconstitutional" decision.

Though Opposition members wanted to bring up the matter as soon as the House met for the day particularly, since Dr. Singh was present to introduce some of his new Cabinet colleagues Speaker Somnath Chatterjee allowed them to do so only after question hour.

Initiating the short impromptu discussion, Prabhunath Singh (JD-U) said while the Congress had a tradition of "murdering the Constitution," this was not expected of a Government headed by someone of the reputation of Dr. Singh. More so, since this Government is being supported by the Communist Party of India (Marxist).

The BJP deputy leader, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said the Centre was as guilty as the Governor. "Since Buta Singh has resigned, the Central Government should also resign."

Of the view that the Government could not escape responsibility, Ramji Lal Suman (Samajwadi Party) sought to point out that it had the option of rejecting the Governor's recommendations.

He was also "critical of the misuse of the office of the Governor" by the Centre.

With their demand for a statement from the Government falling on deaf ears, the Opposition resorted to raising slogans.