BJP spurns FMs request for inputs on Lokpal Bill

Lucknow: BJP on Friday spurned Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee`s request for inputs on the proposed Lokpal Bill, arguing it would not be proper for a political party to submit its views to a drafting committee comprising civil society members as it would upset constitutional propriety.

"Expecting political parties to give their views to a drafting committee comprising civil society representatives for acceptance or otherwise would be upsetting constitutional propriety where parties, parliamentarians and Parliament have the last word.

"They are the decision-makers and not suggestion givers," BJP President Nitin Gadkari said.

Mukherjee had written a letter on May 31 to the BJP, other political parties and chief ministers seeking their opinion on the proposed bill.

There are reportedly several differences between the civil society representatives headed by social activist and Gandhian Anna Hazare, and the government panel headed by Mukherjee.

Gadkari has suggested in his reply that BJP can be consulted before the bill is introduced in Parliament.

"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 opinion at that stage.

It would not be proper for parties and parliamentarians to start submitting their opinions to others for acceptance or rejection," he said.

BJP said the government was reaching out to the opposition only now and given less than a week to the parties to send their suggestions. It also conveyed its resentment at being ignored when the drafting process began despite it being the principal opposition.