OUR BUREAU New Delhi Bhartiya Janata Party President Nitin Gadkari on Friday blasted the government for constitutional impropriety of asking political parties to react to a 6- point questionnaire after the joint Lokpal Bill drafting committee set
up with the Anna Hazare group stuck up on certain issues.
Better come to his party when the final draft legislation is ready for introduction in Parliament, he said.
” In case there is a divergence of opinion between members of the drafting committee, the final proposals carrying both view points can be sent to us for our views at that stage,” he said in response to a letter written by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on May 31.
Mukherjee, who heads the committee, had chosen to elicit views of parties and state governments on the ticklish issues like inclusion of the Prime Minister and higher judiciary under the Lokpal purview on which the government and the Hazare had divergent views.
” Expecting political parties to give their views to a drafting committee comprising civic society representatives for acceptance or otherwise ( on disputed issues) would be upsetting the constitutional propriety where parties, parliamentarians and Parliament have the last word,” Gadkari affirmed.
Making it clear that the BJP is committed to an independent Lokpal, he said this is not the way to drag in the BJP and other political parties whom at no stage the government thought necessary to consult.
Parties and parliamentarians are ” decision makers and not suggestion givers,” and it would not be proper for them to start submitting their opinions to others for acceptance or rejection.
It is rather other way round that ” views of various interested groups are placed before Parliament or political parties which are represented in Parliament through their members so that the parties and eventuality Parliament can take a final view in the matter,” he affirmed.
” Though not having felt the necessity of ever involving political parties, particularly those in Opposition in this entire debate, you have now considered it expedience that they must give their views and that too in less than one week on issues of divergence between the ministers and civil society representatives.