Gujarat Lokayukta Appointment Rocks Parliament

New Delhi
Gujarat Lokayukta Appointment Rocks Parliament
Angry at the "undemocratic" appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat, BJP today paralysed Parliament and agitated outside, seeking recall of Governor Kamla Beniwal and warning the central government of non-cooperation if it did not heed to its demands.

BJP members created uproar and forced repeated adjournments of both the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha, contending that the mandatory consent of Chief Minister Narendra Modi had not been taken in appointment of the Lokayukta.

Raising the matter in Lok Sabha, senior BJP leader L K Advani said the Constitution provides that the Governor would act on the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers but it was violated in case of Gujarat as the Governor appointed the Lokayukta without consulting the Chief Minister.

"This is not the first attack on federalism in the context of Gujarat. It has been happening regularly," said Advani, leading the party's attack over the issue and adding that BJP intends to meet President Pratibha Patil to seek recall of the Governor.

Amid repeated disruptions caused by ruling party members, Advani referred to Leader of the House Pranab Mukherjee and said the Congress government at the Centre had been seeking cooperation of BJP on various issues.

"If the Centre does not respect the federal structure, it will be useless to expect cooperation from us. We will have problems in cooperating as our people already say that we are being treated like this, is it fair that we still cooperate? I feel it should not be limited to Lokayukta appointment but overall issue of respecting rights of states. I expect them to pay heed," he said.

Advani, who represents Gujarat's Gandhinagar Constituency in Parliament, said he expected the Centre to have proper attitude towards the state he represents.

Contending that a Lokayukta should be an "unbiased" person, the BJP leader said he did not want to go into his merits but it was a "fit case to be taken up by the House" as it related to "violation of the Constitution".

Earlier, after forcing an adjournment of Lok Sabha during Question Hour, BJP members from Gujarat led by Advani staged a sit-in in the Parliament House complex in front of Mahatma Gandhi's statue to register their protest.

In the House, tempers ran high when Congress tried to counter the attack by raising the acquittal of all 12 accused in the murder case of former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya.

It was trouble from the word go in the Lok Sabha which was adjourned till 1200 hours after BJP members created ruckus demanding suspension of Question Hour for taking up the issue.

Due to uproar, the Lok Sabha failed to transact any business as it was adjourned, first till noon, then till 2 PM, then 3 pm and ultimately for the day.

While Rajya Sabha took up the Question Hour, it witnessed repeated adjournments since Zero Hour and was then finally adjourned for the day.

It was a similar story in the Rajya Sabha where Leader of the Opposition Arun Jaitley alleged that "this constitutional crisis has been created at the behest of those in power in Delhi... This Governor should not stay in office even for a minute."

BJP MPs from the state will meet the President on September two to demand the Governor's recall.
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