Trinamool, RJD helped UPA sabotage Lokpal bill: Yechury

Trinamool, RJD helped UPA sabotage Lokpal bill: Yechury

Holding the government responsible for  the Lokpal bill not being passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Communist party of India-Marxist accused the ruling UPA constituent Trinamool Congress and the Rashtriya Janata Dal, which supports it from outside, of helping in the strategy to "sabotage" the legislation.

"The government is squarely responsible for not passing the bill. The TMC and RJD helped the government in its strategy to sabotage the bill," CPI-M  member in the upper house Sitaram Yechury told reporters.

"We were surprised by the TMC's sudden aggressiveness in the Rajya Sabha over federal autonomy of the Lokayuktas in states. They did not oppose the government on this point when the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha Dec 27."

Terming the government's argument that there were too many (187) amendments moved by the members in the Rajya Sabha during Thursday's debate, he said the debate could have been started Dec 28 afternoon. "We sensed a government strategy to delay voting on the bill by prolonging the debate and raised the issue with the chairman but got no assurance," said Yechury.

"The government strategy was to filibuster the debate, prolong it so the extension (of the session) ended before any decision."

Agreeing that the government needed more time to study the amendments moved by the members, Yechury said the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) managers could have at least given a time schedule of passing the bill by extending the session.

"I raised the point at 11.20 p.m. in house. The government could have shared its plan if it wanted to pass the bill," he said.  Citing a precedent in 2003 when the Supreme Court upheld a ruling of then Lok Sabha speaker Manohar Joshi to extend the winter session in January 2004, he said the Rajya Sabha could have taken a call on extending the winter session, which ended Dec 29, so the Lokpal bill may be passed.

"Though the government decides on extending the session, the house could have taken a call on this matter," said Yechury.

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