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No Compromise On Basic Structure Of Constitution: Congress

PTI 04 Aug 2011, 21:44:58 IST

New Delhi, Aug 4: Amid protests over tabling of the government version of the Lokpal Bill in Parliament, Congress today said there could be no compromise on the basic structure of the Constitution and wondered why Anna and his friends do not understand a fact even a school child can.  

“There is a Constitutional structure in the country and this structure has not fallen from above but has been put in place by people of the country through their elected representatives,” Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari told reporters here.

“In India's democratic structure, everybody can give an advice but it is only people's representatives, who can introduce a bill in Parliament and enact a law. This basic fact is understood by even a school child. Either Anna and his friends do not understand or do not want to understand. The question is why they do not want to understand it,” he said.

When told that team Anna has burnt copies of the Lokpal Bill of the government, Tewari said the country has seen people and parties burning even the Indian Constitution and then finally agreeing to work within its framework.

“Akali leader Prakash Singh Badal had burnt Indian Constitution in Rakabaganj. Now he is Punjab's Chief Minister.

“Similar unfortunate incidents had also happened in Assam. Even those, who burnt the Constitution of India realized the futility of such exercises and finally reconciled to work within the parameters of the same. Why the Anna team is refusing to recognize this reality,” Tewari asked.

The Congress spokesperson said once the bill goes to the Standing Committee, any body including Anna Hazare and his friends have the right to give their suggestions on the issue.

Tewari also dismissed BJP leader Arun Jaitley's criticism of the bill saying barely a reading of the Constitution will puncture the claims of the Leader of the Opposition. “I do not want to join issue with Leader of Opposition. The bill has been referred to the Standing Committee and BJP is also represented in that committee,” he said.

Asked about the leaks of CAG report on Commonwealth Games indicting Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Tewari said the document first reaches the President of India, Parliament and the Public Accounts Committe and the fact that even before reaching them, it has become public raises serious questions.

“Has the CAG tabled the report. Has the CAG affirmed or confirmed the leaks,” he asked, adding it will be improper for him to react on reports before they become official.

Dismissing suggestions that the government had to compromise with the Opposition on price rise by adopting a resolution which indicts it, Tewari said the former was equally concerned with inflation particularly food inflation.

He added that the Congress led government has taken many steps to check price rise and blamed it on “macro economic” situations across the globe.

Tewari also dismissed suggestions that there was pressure on people to lease the land to Rajiv Gandhi Trust in Gurgaon, saying there was “absolutely no question” of it and reminded that the trust had even declined to take the land lease at concessional rates offered by the Village Panchayat. PTI