NEW DELHI: A BJP delegation on Thursday met President Pratibha Patil requesting her intervention in reconvening the Rajya Sabha, and ensuring a vote on the Lokpal Bill, after the recent fiasco, when the House had to be adjourned sine die at midnight, without a vote.
The delegation, led by BJP Parliamentary Party chairman L K Advani, party president Nitin Gadkari, and leaders of Opposition in the two Houses of Parliament, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, gave the President a memorandum, charging the ruling Congress with “subversion of Parliament”, and asking her to convene a special Parliament session.
“We have sought the President’s intervention and expressed our complaint and dissatisfaction on the events that took place in Rajya Sabha on the night of December 29,” Advani said after meeting Patil. “We have suggested to the President that as a part of Parliament, she should take the initiative and give a concrete suggestion for re-convening the Parliament session and hold voting which was postponed earlier for creation of a strong Lokpal,” said Jaitley. “The President has said she would examine various aspects on the matter before taking any action,” he added.
“A government which avoids a vote has no moral authority to continue... When such a breakdown of the Constitutional machinery takes place, the President as a protector and guardian of the...Constitution must act. The President could advise the government to re-convene the session and immediately take a vote. The government must be asked to explain the reasons why the House was disturbed through...contrived disturbances,” said the memorandum.
It added that the “government benches had engineered disturbances” initially “through a friendly party and subsequently by its own members and these disturbances were contrived to earn an adjournment so that a voting could be avoided”.