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Fernandes writes to Sonia on 'Office of Profit" Bill issue

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, July 23 (UNI) Taking to task the UPA Government for its stand on the controversial 'Office of Profit" Bill, NDA convener George Fernandes today said the return of the Bill to the President in its present form was "rooted in the greed and self aggrandisement of those who support it".

In a letter to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Defence Minister Fernandes said the UPA decision "not only blantantly insults of a patriotic President but also sets a dangerous precedent for the lawmakers of the future that the Constitution can be shamed and sullied as per their whims and pleasures".

The NDA convener noted that when President APJ Abdul Kalam returned the controversial Bill that was "calculated to defeat the sacrosanct intentions of the framers of the Constitution and violated its basic structure", he was fulfiling his paramount duty towards the country and acting as per the oath of his office.

Mr Fernandes contended that the OoP Bill smacked of opportunism and rationalized something that was patently wrong and unconstitutional. It saught to facilitate all those who had overstepped propriety and ethics without having bothered to examine the ramifications.

The NDA convener pointed out that unless the systems were corrected requiring wide-ranging reforms in political parties and the ethical dimensions were brought back to Parliament and Government, tinkering with legislation piecemeal would not bring a substantial and lasting change.

"It also leaves those who have kept to the straight and narrow path feeling foolish for having always 'done the right thing'," he said.

Mr Fernandes told Mrs Gandhi that her support to the Cabinet decision would mean that her resignation from Lok Sabha was meant only to "hoodwink the people" and a demonstration that she too was "an integral part of the defilers of the Constitution." In a 'sincere appeal', the NDA convener advised the UPA chairperson that by preventing the passage of the OoP Bill she would have an opportunity to "stand along with the luminaries who framed our constitution and all of whom must be turning into their graves by this unprecedented abuse of power".

UNI DG/KAS RL PM1655

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