8:49 am - Sunday November 8, 2015

Rahul Gandhi silent on corruption in Parliament, says BJP as Centre pushes for anti-graft laws

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Rahul Gandhi knows he is staring at defeat: BJP
Rahul Gandhi knows he is staring at defeat: BJP

New Delhi –  In a clear break from convention, the Congress-led central government seems set to use emergency powers and bring in ordinances to railroad key legislation that couldn’t be passed, including anti-corruption laws championed by Rahul Gandhi and crucial to the party’s campaign for the national election in three months.

The BJP has slammed the government for “waking up” after 10 years in power, just before the polls. (Rahul needs to explain his silence in Parliament: Arun Jaitley to NDTV)

The bills likely to be passed by an ordinance, or executive order, are the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Bill, the Rights of citizens to Timebound Delivery of Goods and Services and Redressal of Grievances Bill, the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Bill, the Securities and Exchange Board (Amendment) Bill, the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Bill, and the Delhi High Court (Amendment) Bill). (Government to push key bills through ordinances)

The first two bills form an important part of the plan set in motion by Mr Gandhi to reclaim the anti-corruption plank seen to have been appropriated by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party and Narendra Modi’s BJP.

An ordinance has to be ratified in Parliament within six months to be replaced by law, which leaves the fate of these bills to the next government. The government has only a few days to get the President to clear these ordinances before the Lok Sabha poll dates are announced, bringing in effect a model code of conduct banning parties from making any announcements.

“Are these bills being brought in because of ideological conviction or are these bills being brought in merely because somebody who doesn’t have an identification with an anti-corruption movement now wants to be an entrant in to the anti-corruption crusade?” senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley questioned on NDTV’s ‘Political Roots.’

Mr Jaitley said he had not heard “a single statement” from Rahul Gandhi on corruption in Parliament. “On the last session, before the government is to depart, bills which have been pending for a long time…he now says these are my bills. Has he ever spoken once on any anti-graft bill? Do you remember a single speech he has delivered in the last 10 years inside the parliament or outside on corruption? The next government should ideally be entitled to its own bills and not the bills of somebody who is a potential loser.”

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