First of all, I would like to say with respect and humility that nowadays Samajwadi Party is being bestowed with special benevolence. It is from both the sides. Yesterday, our leader was showered with benevolence and he had to apologise for stating his cause forcefully. If I too am also shown the same benevolence today, I too may have have to apologise tomorrow. Therefore let me apologise in advance. If anyone is hurt by what I have to say, please forgive me.
This bill has been passed retrospectively from 1959. It is God's grace that I was born in 1956, that is, I was then three years old.
There was a mention of faces and how each office has a face behind it. I too am such a face who would profit from this bill. But I would like to ask: What is the real issue in this whole process? What is the root cause? No body is talking about that. Who has been a victim of this office of profit? Who was the intended target? Mrs Jaya Bachchan and Amar Singh were the real targets. Mrs Jaya Bachchan was expelled. [Interruptions] Look, even we can get a chorus to begin singing from this side. I have already apologised. If the truth is bitter, please say so. If you wish to get the bill passed, please say so. But if you wish just to sing in chorus, then we too would merrily join in.
I wish to say that Mrs Jaya Bachchan was the real target. As for the question about me, the Election Commission has stated that Amar Singh's fate and future have been decided and finalised, just that the judgement is reserved. Possibly, it would be a negative judgement. Morality has been invoked time and again and our friends from the Left are being charged that they have brought in the bill to save their MPs from being expelled. I totally disagree with this. Because the Left has demonstrated their strength to everyone in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. If they wish to save their members, were they to be disqualified, they could easily get them re-elected. They have shown their strength. I am not flattering them. They are not running our government... [Interruptions]. Anyway, let me say what I have to say, and then you can say your bit. They are running their [Congress's] government, but they do not need any crutches to save their members.
Now, one of our members has been embroiled in this office of profit issue. Last time, when I spoke on this, I spoke with a heavy heart. But now that she has come back after being re-elected, I feel a little lighter. As for me, after deciding my fate but reserving the judgement, I have been kept hanging in the middle. Now our respected colleagues would say that some minor, lower-level workers must have done it and that the high command is not aware of it. A complaint by an elected member of the All India Congress Committee is at the very root of this whole controversy. The elected member of the All India Congress Committee, and a Congress nominee, who was pitted against Mrs Jaya Bachchan, is the one who complained and that is how this whole storm was raised. And when this storm was raised, those who live in glasshouses should know that they should not throw stones at the houses of others:
teraa meraa sheeshe kaa ghar, main bhii sochuuN, tuu bhii soch
kyuuN tere haath main paThar, main bhii sochuuN, tuu bhii soch
And it is astounding to hear all this talk about faces. Let us talk about faces and the theatrics and drama of sacrifice...[Interruptions] It is astounding to hear all these lectures about morality in the midst of all this:
jab bhii jee chaahe naye chehre lagaa lete haiN log
ek chehre pe naye chechre lagaa lete haiN log
The office of profit is very necessary in Jharkhand, because the government has to be saved, and they have even got the nod from the governor. It's fine in Jharkhand, but bad in Delhi? Whatever our friends say here, if one were to name names, one doesn't know what other charges would be levelled. The Congress spokesperson, one of the country's well-known lawyers, issued a statement that the bill passed by the Uttar Pradesh to save its government is being now introduced at the Centre. And when the same bill was introduced in Uttar Pradesh assembly, his statement followed that there was no need to bring in such a bill to save a Bollywood actress. When the same Bollywood people were in their party, they were considered very worthy, but now that they are with us, they have become sinners. And then morality was invoked and the governor was advised not to sign. I wish to thank the law minister, Mr Bhardrwaj, because, perhaps, he decided to turn benevolent [Interruptions] Yes, he is foresighted. He must have thought that it would come in handy later. And now these spokespersons, who can weave a web with their words - after all, I am uneducated, and I do not get paid to speak, but every word of theirs is invaluable. There are many statements from here [Congress] and from there [BJP] as well.
Sir, I want to say that when the bill was passed by the Uttar Pradesh assembly, they said that the governor should not sign it. Then they did not remember the Presidential reference, they did not remember Article 111, then they did not remember anything about the clash between the assembly and the governor. They swallow the sweet but spit out the bitter, that is, pass in Jharkhand but fail in Delhi, fail in Uttar Pradesh but pass in Delhi. At least, you please do not talk of morality [Congress] - and please you don't either [BJP]. Parliament is not the High or the Supreme Court where you are fighting a case to help a client win or lose. If you wish to talk about morality, if you wish to talk about the right way, if you wish to talk about Gandhi, Lohia and JP, then please present their ethos properly. Please do not say that the Left is doing this to save their government or their MPs, because they have shown what they can do in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. [Interruptions] What happened in Bihar? What happened in Gujarat? Why are you saying this? Where they have a political base ... [Interruptions]
Sir, I request that what we are saying has been defined here has actually not been defined here. One fine morning, Supreme Court said where money has not been taken, where no benefit has accrued, that is not covered in the ambit of 'profit' are thse are not offices of profit. This was a seven-judge bunch. After that, the final Supreme Court verdict said that anyone who has taken any office has 'profited'. Was the first or the last Supreme Court verdict correct? I leave it for the legal luminaries on either side to tell us. But to the best of our knowledge, we support Mr Arun Jaitley and we also support what Mr Sitaram Yechuri has written in his regular column in an established English daily. He has written what should circumscribe an office of profit. I think it has not been defined even today. I completely agree that the profit I would derive from this bill is immoral. I am deeply ashamed and filled with remorse that I too am party to this immorality. But I would also certainly like to add that I am not a liar; neither I, nor my party, uses double standards. If something is OK in Uttar Pradesh, then it is OK in Delhi as well. Unlike my friends on this side, with one opinion when in Jharkhand and another when in Delhi, or those on the other side, with one view in Uttar Pradesh and another in Delhi, I cannot do this sort of politics.
With a heavy heart, saluting these sacrificers, saluting these renunciators, that they have sacrificed and renunciated a lot to raise this, while condemning this extremism in politics -- and extremism is not just religious in nature but also of political vendetta -- sometimes raids, sometimes attacks on 'office of profit', sometimes telephone-taps -- this extremism which is present in politics, this politics of vendetta -- and opposing the use of these things in the dirty, cruel and obscene politics, with a very heavy heart, with extreme sadness, while supporting this immorality, I support this bill.
Mr Amar Singh spoke in Hindi. This is a hurried, but close literal translation.
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