Lokpal Bill: Left accuses govt of sabotage

New Delhi: The CPI(M) today accused the UPA government of "subterfuge and sabotage" in not allowing voting on the Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, saying "chaos" was created in an "orchestrated" manner to stall the crucial legislation. The UPA used its allies like Trinamool Congress and outside supporters like RJD to "create chaos", senior party leader Sitaram Yechury said, blaming Union Ministers P K Bansal and V Narayanasamy for not allowing the House to continue proceedings till a conclusion was arrived at.

"The UPA government is squarely responsible for this. It is most unfortunate that this sort of subterfuge and sabotage has been carried out when the people are looking up to the Parliament" for an effective anti-graft bill, he told a press conference here. Taking a dig at the UPA, he congratulated the government that the Lokpal Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and come to the Rajya Sabha "where it cannot lapse as this House is a permanent House. The Bill has not lapsed and the only positive thing is that we can take it up in the Budget Session".

Taking the Trinamool Congress (TC) to task, Yechury said their stand on the Lokpal issue was "surprising as the same people did not raise these issues earlier in the Lok Sabha and also inside the Union Cabinet when it debated the Bill."  Asked about Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee taking a strong stand against her Lok Sabha MPs, he said, "Why didn`t she scold them first when the Cabinet met on the issue and her Minister is in the Cabinet…. The TMC MPs suddenly remembered all these issues in the Rajya Sabha."

The CPI(M) leader also took on Parliamentary Affairs Minister P K Bansal for having refused to extend the House on the grounds that it was extended only for three days which ended last midnight. Maintaining that there have been instances in the past, he said the House could have been extended "even without the President`s assent. He (Bansal) is absolutely wrong" and added that the House proceedings went on in the first week of January 2004.