Budget session successful for Opposition: BJP
"For the opposition it was a very successful session.
Firstly, because the Parliament functioned. After the washout of the winter session the Frequently Asked Question was whether it will function. Secondly, our demand for a JPC on 2-G spectrum scam was accepted," Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj told reporters.
The principal opposition held a press conference after the end of the budget session.
Leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley insisted that the session became the one of accountability.
"We take satisfaction in that we raised the bar of accountability of the government," he said.
Swaraj maintained that BJP did not treat formation of JPC- which had led to washout of the winter session – "as a victory for itself or a loss for the government."
The senior leader enumerated the CVC issue and "issues of human interest" like attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy, plight of Indian sailors held captive by Somali pirates, harassment of Indian students in Tri Valley University in US, and preventing use of tobacco to control cancer.
"The CVC issue reached its logical conclusion," Swaraj said. The Supreme Court had quashed the appointment of P J Thomas as CVC as a case of corruption was pending against him.
Jaitley criticised Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s comments that he accepts responsibility for CVC`s appointment, saying it was a "bald generic statement". He said Singh should not have gone ahead with Thomas` appointment when Swaraj had already informed him of the pending corruption case.
Swaraj insisted that while behaving like a "responsible and constructive opposition" the BJP had also functioned as an "aggressive opposition".
To drive home her point, Swaraj said the opposition had staged a walkout on March 22 on the cash-for-vote issue when the government did not agree to a debate on Prime Minister`s statement that no bribe was paid during the 2008 Trust Vote.
"We made a strong attack on the government on the Prime Minister`s statement. But the very next day we came to the government`s rescue during introduction on the Pension Regulatory Bill," Swaraj said.
Jaitley alleged that under attack from the opposition in both Houses of Parliament, the government tried to divert attention from main issues during debates.
"On the appointment of CVC, even after the session is over we have not learnt much about what pressure or compulsion was there on the PM (to choose Thomas). Government also does not appear serious about the loss in 2-G spectrum. It wants to deflect the attack. On cash-for-vote, the government did not go into hard facts of bribery but into who exposed," he said.
Jaitley lamented that despite the opposition raising the bar of accountability, there is "still a question-mark" on the seriousness of the government.