Punj against reservation for minorities in Lokpal, accuses Govt. of practicing vote bank politics

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 15, 2012 08:40 hrs

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Balbir Punj on Thursday criticised the Congress-led UPA Government on providing reservation for minorities in the Lokpal, saying it smelt of vote bank politics and an attempt to religiously split society along horizontal and vertical lines.

Punj said an institution such as Lokpal which is meant to fight corruption, should not be communalised.

"And, just to cater to vote bank politics, you are indulging in this sort of a decisive policy. You imagine a situation in tomorrow Election Commission also. Why not in Election Commission? Why not in Supreme Court? Why not in High Court? Why not in CVC? You are going to split the society of religious lines horizontally and vertically; and the BJP will not allow it," said Punj.

"This is purely an anti-national step and we want an independent, objective, impartial, powerful Lokpal, which should not be divided on communal lines," he added.

Punj further alleged that the UPA-II Government has been misusing the CBI for floor coordination in both houses of Parliament, which is very unfortunate.

"Basically, any institution works in a certain context. And after the UPA-II particularly when it has come to power; it has been misusing the CBI for floor coordination in both houses of Parliament, which is very unfortunate," said Punj.

"As a result, we want a mechanism, which will ensure that the CBI functions as an independent and impartial investigating agency and the appointments particularly at the level of Director of CBI is done purely on merit and not on the basis of loyalty to the ruling establishment," he added.

The BJP, which is leaving no stones unturned in targetting the Centre on the issue of provision of reservation for minorities in Lokpal, has decided to take on the UPA Government on the version of the bill passed in the Lok Sabha last year.

According to reports, the BJP members in the Rajya Sabha Select Committee on Lokpal Bill have written to panel chief Satyavrat Chaturvedi questioning the provision providing reservation to minorities in the measure.

The BJP members, who have challenged that that religion-based reservation is constitutionally invalid, has opposed reservation for minorities in the Lokpal Bill asserting that it violates the Constitution and it will lead to further division.

The letter reportedly also refers to a 2005 Supreme Court judgement, saying that the apex court had noted that the state has no religion and no section can claim to be a minority.

The BJP's move comes just days ahead of the commencement of Winter Session of Parliament on November 22. (ANI)

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