Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha and senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday said the UPA government’s “unholy haste” in pushing for the appointment of a Lokpal will destroy its credibility.
Jaitley said that the manner in which Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s office to convene a meeting of the selection committee for filling up the vacancies of the search committee “should not be allowed to succeed” and the procedure should be stopped immediately.
“It would be a gross political impropriety and violation of the code of conduct if the UPA would rush through its appointment at this stage. Besides this, the procedure is legally a suspect. Such unholy haste will destroy the credibility of the Lokpal even before it is formed,” Jaitley wrote on his blog.
“While Manmohan Singh is now in a retirement mode, he must seriously introspect if this unholy haste in pushing the Lokpal on the eve of certain departure is implemented, he will only be remembered as a prime minister who subverted institutions at the behest of his party leadership,” he added.
“Even now if he tries to act with unholy haste, the entire democratic system of India is strong enough not to permit him to succeed. The prime minister has nothing to lose except some residual creditability,” he wrote.
Adding that the Lokpal appointment controversy refuses to die, Jaitley said that since half the elections have been completed and nearly 26 days remain for the formation of a new government, is it not proper for the UPA government to rush through the appointment? Certainly not.
He also wrote that the government decided to rush through with the appointment of the chairperson of the Lokpal and its members on the eve of the announcement of the elections, and that a search committee was hurriedly appointed.
“The Lokpal appointment controversy refuses to die. The UPA government has framed rules under the Lokpal Act. The rules prima facie run contrary to the Act. This is already a subject matter of a challenge before the Supreme Court,” Jaitley wrote.
The BJP had on Saturday urged the poll panel to ask the UPA government to put all major appointments on hold till a new government takes over.
“The government must be instructed that it doesn’t make any appointment to important posts as it is in violation of the model code of conduct,” BJP general secretary J P Nadda said after leading a party delegation to Deputy Election Commissioner Sudhir Tripathi and handed over a memorandum to him.