New Delhi: "First resign, order probe and then discuss what you have to", used to be the baseline for the BJP when in opposition. But now since the party is in power, it refuses to follow its "own tradition" on issues of national importance, says the opposition.
Opposition leaders K.C. Tyagi of the Janata Dal, D.Raja of the CPI and Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad accuse the Bharatiya Janata Party of trying to save its "tainted" leaders, including External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. But an unrelenting BJP has instead accused the Congress of disrupting the ongoing monsoon session of parliament.
Tyagi of the Janata Dal told IANS that the BJP seems to have forgotten what it would do while in opposition when there were issues involving ruling parties.
"The BJP would ask for resignation of an accused leader and say that only after the person concerned resigns or steps down, there could be any debate on the matter," he said.
Tyagi, expressing concern over "how the BJP was trying to save its tainted leaders", said it was "unfortunate" that parliament's precious time was being wasted as the government was refusing to ask External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, accused of helping fugitive Lalit Modi, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhra Raje, accused of having done
illegal business deals with the same man, and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan accused of being involved in the Vyapam scam, to resign from their respective posts.
"They (BJP) themselves set these benchmarks. While being on the other side (in opposition) they would always ask for the resignation of tainted ministers and officials, but now when their own are involved they refuse to drop them," the Janata Dal leader said.
D.Raja also expressed the same feelings over the issue.
Speaking to IANS, Raja said there can't be a "meaningful debate" unless the tainted resign.
"Why can't they resign? There are serious charges against them and they must resign in order to ensure a fair probe into the matter," he said, adding that if they come clean, as they are claiming to be, they could take their seats back.
Congress general secretary Shakeel Ahmad, going a step further from the general stand of the opposition on the issue, said his party has always supported the government on various matters and would never get involved in unnecessary parliament adjournment tactics if the BJP drops the tainted ministers till they come clean or otherwise.
"We are a responsible opposition. We don't believe in disrupting parliamentary proceedings; the BJP, however, did it; but we won't do it and are ready to discuss all important bills and other issues concerning the country," Ahmad told IANS.
Refusing to believe the opposition, specially the Congress, the BJP said that the Congress and the entire opposition "were not only disrupting parliamentary proceedings; they were disrupting the country's economic progress".
BJP's Rajya Sabha member Chandan Mitra told IANS that "the Congress is not only obstructing parliamentary proceedings but also obstructing the country's economic progress".
Ever since the parliament monsoon session began on July 21, there has been continuous disruption of proceedings in both the houses over the issue.
(Sushil Kumar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)