BJP takes up with President Lokpal selection panel row

New Delhi, Feb 5: Upping the ante, BJP on Wednesday took the controversy over appointment of a jurist to Lokpal selection panel to the President's doorstep, seeking his support for its demand for a consensus on the issue after differences emerged over the name of the Supreme Court lawyer.

Opposing government's nominee P P Rao for appointment on the panel, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj met Pranab Mukherjee and lodged her protest at the manner in which the government pushed for his nomination and sought the President's intervention.

Sushma Swaraj met Pranab Mukherjee and lodged her protest.

Swaraj, who is a member of the Lokpal Selection Committee, feels that Rao is a "Congress loyalist" and should not be in the panel to ensure its neutrality.

At the official party briefing, BJP's deputy leader in Rajya Sabha Ravishankar Prasad blamed the Prime Minister for the row and accused him of having "failed" in his duty on the Lokpal appointment issue as it went against the spirit of Parliamentary approval.

"Dr Manmohan Singh by insisting upon this one particular name and forcing its approval is seeking to negate the entire spirit of Select Committee recommendations and Parliamentary approval.

"The first and foremost blame lies with the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister as Prime Minister and leader of a team in the collegium must make an effort to bring about a consensus. He failed in the case of CVC. I am sorry to say he has failed all the more in the case of a Lokpal," Prasad said.

The BJP leader also sought to question the Prime Minister on why he was insisting on one name and why he was not in favour of bringing about a consensus to have an eminent jurist as part of the Selection Committee for the ombudsman appointment.


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