Congress slams Oppn for taking Lokpal to Anna's street dais
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"In a democracy, there is a platform for discussion on every issue. Parliament is the best forum for discussion," Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni told reporters outside Parliament House here.
Opposition leaders yesterday joined Anna Hazare's protest at Jantar Mantar demanding a strong Lokpal.
"Raising issues outside Parliament shows the Opposition's double standards. This is not acceptable," she said adding, "When we speak outside Parliament they, say it is against parliamentary tradition."
Soni said, "We also want a strong Lokpal but it should be discussed in Parliament."
Law Minister Salman Khurshid said, "Parliamentary democracy is based on discussion and there should be discussion on every issue."
Asked whether the Opposition did the right thing in discussing the Lokpal issue outside Parliament, Khurshid said: :"This should also be discussed in Parliament."
Union Minister Farooq Abdullah said, "Parliament is supreme. So, they (Opposition) should put forth their views in Parliament which is the right forum."
At Hazare's rally, politicians stressed on supremacy of Parliament: Pawar
NCP chief Sharad Pawar today saw nothing wrong with politicians sharing the dais with Anna Hazare and discussing the Lokpal issue and said it was "good" that all parties emphasised the supremacy of Parliament which could not be overlooked.
"A debate can take place at any place. It could be done at a seminar or in an open ground. It is good that all political parties at Jantar Mantar emphasised the importance of Parliament. We cannot overlook Parliament," Pawar said.
He was asked whether it was right for political parties to participate in the debate at Jantar Mantar yesterday when Parliament is already seized of the matter.
He was speaking to reporters after a function at his residence here where he was greeted by his supporters on his 71st birthday.
His remarks came a day after several non-Congress parties including the BJP and the Left parties shared stage with Hazare at Jantar Mantar where he held a day-long fast to protest against the report of the Parliamentary Committee on the Lokpal bill.
Asked about his views on the Jan Lokpal Bill being advocated by Hazare, he merely said that everyone has the right to give his views and if someone gives a good
suggestion, then it is welcome. "But Parliament is the place for final discussions and decision."
At the Jantar Mantar yesterday, several political parties flayed the government and the Parliamentary Standing Committee for preparing a weak Lokpal draft. Some of them also appealed to Anna and his team to be flexible in their approach towards the Bill.