New Delhi: Congress today came down heavily on BJP over its protest against the appointment of a jurist to the Lokpal selection panel saying the Opposition party has a “hidden agenda” of blocking the constitution of Lokpal itself and hence using such “lameduck excuses”.
“BJP is attempting to block appointment of Lokpal by its lameduck excuses. The decision of the Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj to oppose the appointment of eminent jurist P P Rao on the selection panel for Lokpal on purely flimsy grounds and by levelling baseless allegations with political motives exposes the hidden agenda of BJP,” party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters.
His remarks came soon after BJP, upping the ante on the issue, took the controversy to the President’s doorstep and Swaraj lodged lodged her protest at the manner in which the government pushed for Rao’s nomination and sought his intervention.
Swaraj, who is a member of the Lokpal Selection Committee, feels that Rao is a “Congress loyalist” and should not be in the panel to ensure its neutrality.
Slamming the BJP leader over her anti-Rao pitch, the Congress spokesperson said the process and procedure of appointment were also part of the Rajya Sabha’s select committee report on Lokpal to which members from all parties including the BJP were signatories.
He wondered in that case is Swaraj’s protest “not an attempt per se to block the appointment of Lokpal”. Surjewala said that besides the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition, the panel also has a nominee of the Chief Justice of India and the Speaker.
“Does it mean that BJP has also lost faith in two most democratic edifices of the country — the office of the CJI and the Speaker? Is it fair on part of the Leader of Opposition to raise objections, which are politically motivated and unjustifiably question the loyalty of an eminent jurist on whose name even a Supreme Court Judge and Speaker have agreed upon?
“Does the Leader of Opposition want rest of the two members only to agree to the choice of the BJP. BJP must answer the question to people of India instead of indulging in the game of oneupmanship,” he said.