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Cong + Oppn + Team Anna = Blame game

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New Delhi: As expected, the blame game for the Lokpal Bill 'debacle' in the Rajya Sabha began on Friday with the BJP asking the Prime Minister to quit after the proposed legislation failed to get past the Upper House and the government hitting back to say that the Opposition had orchestrated the drama in the House. Members of Team Anna cried foul and blamed the government for deceiving the people but vowed to continue their fight for a Lokpal.
A day after the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die amidst chaos on Thursday midnight without putting to vote the Lokpal Bill, the battlelines were drawn on an issue that has dominated the discourse for much of the year.
While the fate of the long-discussed Lokpal bill is uncertain, politicians traded charges for failure to pass the bill ahead of the forthcoming assembly polls in five states.
As the BJP-Congress war of words intensified, the Government claimed that it will bring the Lokpal Bill in the budget session now, while the BJP said it will take its battle to the people.
The government said that the 187 amendments in the Lokpal Bill led to the trouble in Rajya Sabha. "There are differences among UPA allies. I would not go so far as to say that there is a pattern in confrontational behaviour (of TMC). Quite clear that apart from regional parties, BJP wanted a weakened Bill," the Home Minister P Chidambaram said.
The government fielded four of its senior ministers - P Chidambaram, Pawan Kumar Bansal, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Ambika Soni - to launch a scathing attack on BJP.
"The BJP had no intention to pass the Bill. So they hit upon an ingenious devise to move 187 amendments, many of them contradictory and many of them cannot be reconciled in a few minutes," Chidambaram told a joint press conference.
"By no stretch of imagination 187 amendments could have been examined, analysed and accepted or rejected in the time available yesterday. How can a minister accept amendments being forced down his throat," he said.
But the Opposition was in no mood to relent. The BJP demanded that the government should quit and hold fresh elections as it had 'lost' majority in both Houses of Parliament. A government which runs away from voting, has no political or moral right to stay in power, the party said.
"The government has lost a majority in both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha. This government should quit and hold fresh elections," BJP leader Sushma Swaraj said. BJP leader Arun Jaitley said, "We will expose the government on the road and make the public aware in the wake of yesterday's developments. We will take up this Bill in the next session and expose the government there also."
Rahul Gandhi also repsonded by saying, "BJP defeated the strong Constitutional Lokpal Bill in Lok Sabha. When reporters asked BJP why you defeated strong Lopal Bill, they said because it was Rahul Gandhi’s dream. Let me clarify, it was not my dream alone but aspiration of Indian youth."
Team Anna sought to tear into Government on the Lokpal Bill alleging that it engineered the high drama in Rajya Sabha as it did not have the intention to set up a strong anti-corruption ombudsman.
Putting the blame squarely on government, Team Anna contended that Government could have passed the bill if it had accepted the three amendments - independence of CBI, selection and removal process and delinking Lokayukta - on which opposition was in agreement.
They chose not to attack opposition on its insistence that Lokayukta in states should not be brought through the Bill, though it is one of their key demands, but insisted that its passage after accepting opposition amendments would have been the first step towards setting up a strong Lokpal.
"The way the voting in Rajya Sabha was prevented shows that Government was committing fraud after fraud. They say they want to bring a strong Lokpal but they don't have the intention," Team Anna member Arvind Kejriwal said.

Source : http://ibnlive.in.com/news/cong--oppn--team-anna--blame-game/216433-37-64.html

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