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Congress trapped in its own game: Amar Singh

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Mar 22 (UNI) Samajwadi Party General Secretary and Rajya Sabha member Amar Singh, facing disqualification for holding an office, today accused the UPA Government of blatant disregard of fairplay in the Jaya Bachchan episode.

''If you go by the sequence of events, you can see that the President endorsed the Election Commission recommendations on the last day of filing of nominations for the Rajya Sabha, so that Ms Bachchan could not make a bid for a fresh term in the House, Mr Singh told reporters after raising the issue in the Upper House.

He also pointed out that Uttar Pradesh Governor T Rajeshwar Rao withheld assent to a Bill exempting some posts from the ambit of the 'office of profit', only to wait for the President's decision.

''All this points out that the UPA Government had made up its mind to nail Jaya Bachchan.'' Now, by reportedly trying to bring in an ordinance to amend the 'Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 under which Ms Bachchan was expelled, the UPA Government was doing the same for which it had criticised the UP Government, he said.

Mr Singh said his reference to the cases of Rajya Sabha members Dr Karan Singh and Dr Kapila Vatsyayan also holding an office of profit, did not amount to any disregard to them. ''I just want that the same criteria should be applied in the case of Ms Bachchan too.'' The Congress had now been trapped in its own game, the SP leader said. '' Jaya Bachchan ko disqualify kar ke, unhone apne ghar mein khud aag laga li hai,''(They have created difficulties for themsleves by applying disqualification law on Jaya Bachchan)," he said.

Ms Bachchan was disqualified from Rajya Sabha on March 16 after President A P J Abdul Kalam accepted a recommendation of the Election Commission to take action against her for holding an office of profit while being a member of the Upper House.

The President's decision widened the rift between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party, which said it smacked of political vendetta on the part of the Congress.

Ms Bachchan, wife of megastar Amitabh Bachchan, was elected to the Rajya Sabha in January 2004. She had been appointed Chairperson of the UP Film Development Council in July the same year.

The EC had recommended that Ms Bachchan be disqualified under sub-clause (a) of Clause 1 of Article 102 of the Constitution from July 14, 2004, the day she was appointed to the UP Film Development Council.

Ms Bachchan's continuance as an MP was questioned by Congress worker Madan Mohan Shukla, a resident of Kanpur, in a petition to Dr Kalam who subsequently referred the matter to the EC for its advice.

UNI NAZ/SKS MSJ BST1938

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