Angry Yashwant Sinha, Two Other BJP MPs Offer to Resign
New Delhi, Aug 24: Accusing the party of not taking up seriously enough the issue of corruption, three BJP leaders including Yashwant Sinha today offered to quit as Members of Parliament.
Besides Yashwant Sinha, Shatrughan Sinha and Uday Singh, MPs from Patnasaheb and Purnea respectively, sprung a surprise at the BJP Parliamentary Party meeting here to discuss the strategy for the ongoing session as also the all party meeting on the Lokpal issue convened today.
Yashwant Sinha said that the BJP had been unable to take a strong stand on the Lokpal issue which was necessary to "take the battle forward" against corruption.
The former Finance Minister and Hazaribagh MP made the surprise move at the meeting chaired by L K Advani here, which expressed concern over the health of Anna Hazare and made an appeal to the Gandhian to end his fast.
Shatrughan Sinha said the BJP, instead of taking a clear cut stand, had been paying "lip service" on the Hazare issue and using the Congress as a punching bag.
Senior BJP leader S S Ahluwalia, however, sought to downplay questions about Yashwant's offer to resign saying different voices are heard in such meetings and it is the final resolution that actually matters.
The three MPs have voiced their dissent on the BJP stand on various issues from time to time within the party fora.
Shatrughan Sinha has also backed senior BJP leader L K Advani's demand for resignation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, remarks that had not found many takers within the party.
Ahluwalia said the Parliametnary Party meeting resolved for enactment of a "strong and effective" Lokpal Bill and urged Hazare to end his fast.
"BJP is with the movement against corruption by Anna Hazare. The party is concerned with the failing health of Anna Hazare and requests him to end his fast as he has to continue to work for the country even in future," he said.
"BJP appeals to Anna to end his fast and he can carry on his agitation after that if he wants to do so. We are with him in this fight," Ahlulwalia told reporters after the meeting.
He refused a direct reply when asked whether BJP supports all the provisions of the Jan Lokpal Bill of Team Anna.
"BJP opposes the Government's bill on Lokpal. We demand a strong effective bill," was his refrain to such questions. PTI