The BJP and the CPM on Thursday came out with strong criticism of the government for keeping the Prime Minister outside the purview of the proposed Lokpal Bill,indicating that they were gearing up for a standoff with the government in the Standing Committee to which the Bill would be referred to after its introduction in Parliament.
The BJP said it does not appreciate the complete omission of the Prime Minister from the jurisdiction of the Lokpal and said it would strongly express its views in Parliament and in the Standing Committee. Two prime ministers of this country have proved their majority through corrupt means…. How can it be that prime ministers will adopt corrupt means and there will be no investigation, BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The BJP has already taken a position that the Prime Minister exempting his actions and decisions in relation to national security or public order issues should be brought under the ambit of Lokpal.
The CPM too reacted in a similar fashion. Senior party leader Sitaram Yechury pointed out that every prime minister before becoming the PM has agreed and after becoming the PM has backed out.
His Politburo colleague Brinda Karat said the Lokpal draft cleared by the Cabinet was a weak Bill. Since 1989,all the drafts of the Lokpal Bill has included the Prime Minister in its ambit. In 2001,the Standing Committee headed by Pranab Mukherjee had also endorsed it. The people would obviously want to know why something which was correct in 2001 has become wrong in 2011, she said.
She said as far as MPs,higher judiciary and grievances of the common man are concerned,the government has not come out with any initiatives.
Karat said her party was in favour of separate legislations to cover each group and differed with Team Anna that all should be brought under Lokpal. The CPM has already demanded a National Judicial Commission to monitor the conduct of judiciary and amendment of Article 105 of the Constitution to bring MPs under anti-corruption scrutiny.
One another fatal flaw in the Government bill is that it does not have any provisions for taking into account corporate-bureaucrat-political nexus, she added.