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Left demand legislation on disqualification act

By Super

New Delhi, Mar 23: Terming 'unfortunate' the 'Office of Profit' episode which cost the Samajwadi party's Ms Jaya Bachchan her Rajya sabha membership, the Left parties today (Mar 23, 2006) pressed for an immediate legislation by the Parliament to put certain offices held by the MPs out of the purview of the Disqualification Act.

The CPI(M), CPI and the RSP stressed the UPA government should decide how it wanted to go about it and work out constitutional modalities to achieve the end. They urged the Centre to take all the political parties into confidence to resolve the deadlock, which led to the adjournment of both Houses of the Parliament sine die, even as certain business remained unfinished.

While the CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechuri advocated that the Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1959 needed to be ''corrected,'' the CPI accused the Congress of allowing ''such an unsavoury situation'' to develop. The RSP and Forward Bloc made it clear that they were not in favour of bringing about an ordinance for the purpose.

Mr Yechuri released a party Polit Bureau statement to the newspersons, here, which analysed and reviewed the whole issue. But he was evasive over specific queries regarding party's ''belated'' reaction to Jaya Bachchan episode, party's stand over the proposed ordinance and the ''re-convening'' of the Parliament as the Budget session had been scrapped abruptly.

''It is imperative that Parliament immediately take up this issue and adopt necessary legislation so that disqualification under the' office of profit' of Article 102 of the Constitution is not applied sweepingly and indiscriminately,'' the statement said.

Stating that the Constitution was empowered to decide on the definition of an ''office of Profit'' and to exempt the concerned clause, the CPI(M) is of the view that Parliament should immediately undertake legislation in order to put certain offices held by the members outside the purview of the 'office of profit', until a comprehensiv definition could be evolved, the statement added.

Another Polit Bureau member emphasised that since it was a substantial issue which could be decided by Parliament, the government had to take an initiative in this regard.

CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan said yesterday's developments gave enough signal that the government had decided to promulgate an Ordinance on the office of profit. ''The whole controversy over the episode being held by the elected representatives and subsequent disqualification of one Rajya Sabha member from Uttar Pradesh shows how partisan politics leads to consequences that recoils on those who play such games,'' he said.


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