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Yechury backs BJP stand on Constitutional amendment

December 28, 2011 - New Delhi

Rajya Sabha member and Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) politburo member Sitaram Yechury, on Wednesday came out strongly in support of BJP stand on Constitutional status for Lokpal.

Yechury said that the government is trying to ward off public attention as the party could not gather the support of its own alliance partners.

"Any constitutional amendment requires two conditions, one is two-third of the members must be present and voting and that condition was fulfilled by the opposition yesterday in the Lok Sabha because every vote was more than 362 required, so that condition the Opposition did not in any way sabotage this Bill."

"The second condition is one half of the house must vote for the amendment, that is 273, the UPA along with Ajit Singh now, has a strength of 277, but they consistently got a vote of less then 250, How can the Opposition be blamed for this? This whole thing is deflecting the attention. They have wheels within wheels within the Congress Party, within the UPA, which have made sure that this constitutional amendment does not pass in the Lok Sabha," said Yechury.

Consequent to the Lok Sabha passing the Bill, the Rajya Sabha is expected to take it up for consideration on Thursday as the President has give assent to it.

Samajwadi Party Chief, Mulayam Singh Yadav said they would boycott the bill as it is weak in its present form, moreover will only support the bill, if amendments are made.

"We had boycotted the Lokpal Bill because it is weak Lokpal Bill and there are some issues, which needed to be incorporated in the Bill but have not been included. The minorities, the backward classes and Dalits, why have they not been given reservation in the Bill? Yes, if they amend the Bill, then we will surely support the Bill," said Yadav.

Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh's government has been at the receiving end of middle-class frustration with everyday graft and multi-billion dollar scandals in Asia's third largest economy, a state of affairs that forced the government this summer to agree to pass anti-corruption legislation before the end of this year.

Veteran social activist and anti-graft crusader Hazare, who began yesterday a three-day fast to coincide with the parliamentary debate, wants the Lokpal to have greater powers to investigate high-ranking scammers.

He had asserted the protests would continue unless the demands of the forum of civil society members under which he has initiated the stir 'India Against Corruption' are met.


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