NEW DELHI: The appointment of Lokayukta in Gujarat rocked the Parliament Tuesday, with an agitated Bharatiya Janata Party terming it as "undemocratic" and demanding recall of the Governor, Ms Kamla Beniwal accusing her of violating the federal structure.
The BJP members created uproar in both the Houses over the issue. The Lok Sabha failed to transact any business as it was adjourned, first till noon and then till 2 pm. The Rajya Sabha saw similar scenes during Zero Hour and had to be adjourned
till 2 pm.
Congress tried to counter by raising the acquittal of all 12 accused in the murder case of former Gujarat home minister, Haren Pandya. "We are going to approach the President seeking recall of the Governor," BJP veteran, Mr L K Advani said in the Lok Sabha amid frequent interruptions by a section of the Congress MPs from Gujarat who had been finding fault with the state government.
Raising the matter, he said while the Constitution provided that the Governor would act on the aid and advice of the council of ministers, it was violated in case of Gujarat as the Governor appointed the Lokayukta without consulting the Chief Minister. "Therefore, it is a fit case to be taken up by the House. The Parliament can take note of it. We will raise the matter with the President. We will seek recall (of the Governor)," Mr Advani said.
It was a similar story in the Rajya Sabha where the leader of the Opposition, Mr Arun Jaitley alleged that "this constitutional crisis has been created at the behest of those in power in Delhi… This Governor should not stay in office even for a minute." BJP members alleged that the appointment was a breach of federal principles and accused the Governor of acting at the behest of the UPA government at the Centre. The Gujarat Governor had appointed R A Mehta as Lokayukta without consulting the Narendra Modi government, they said.
The BJP members trooped into the well demanding a reply from the Prime Minister on the issue. Mr Jaitley said the person who has been appointed as the state Lokayukta has attended quasi political rallies. "How reports of such a person could be trustworthy," he asked, saying reports of a Lokayukta appointed with "such malafides" cannot be trusted.
He also questioned how the Chief Justice can suo motu announce the name of Lokayukta without consulting the state government, especially at a time when questions about judicial accountability are being raised.