A day after the Union Cabinet withdrew a controversial Ordinance on convicted lawmakers it had earlier cleared, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) welcomed the decision saying that central government should support and follow the Supreme Court ruling on the subject.
Talking to a local news agency, KNS, Mehbooba said, “At the first instance I am surprised how was the bill formulated and introduced in the Parliament. The union government should have supported the Apex Court decision and followed the same in letter and spirit.”
She said there are innumerable instances across the country wherein politicians with criminal background misuse their power and position. “At least the Supreme Court had provided a safeguard to the leadership of different political parties against the elements with criminal, antecedents.”
The PDP president said her party’s stand is clear about the issue as it is the first party in the whole country which constituted State Accountability Commission and introduced and implemented Right to Information Act in the state. “Our RTI Act was strong than the one in vogue at Centre. But unfortunately, the present dispensation has diluted both the institutions.”
Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, CPI (M) State Secretary told KNS that the Congress through this ordinance had devised mechanism for cover-ups. “I think this ordinance was not required at all. Nevertheless, withdrawing this ordinance is good step. We have a Parliament and everything should be discussed in that August House.”
The ordinance was seen an attempt to over-ride a Supreme Court judgment that disqualifies convicted law-makers from office. The executive order, according to political opponents of the Congress was to be used to protect MPs from the court’s ruling till a bill to the same effect was debated and voted on by Parliament. But the union government on Wednesday said that the proposed legislation will be withdrawn.
The Jammu and Kashmir Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Saif-u-Din Soz said that he will speak on the issue some other time. “I am not well, so will not be able to comment on the issue.”
However, Taj Mohi-u-Din, senior Congress leader and minister for medical education while talking to KNS said that the decision is welcome. “The government had introduced the bill under political consensus but now Rahul Gandhi has shown the way and the union government has gone for a course correction,” Taj said.
Dr Mustafa Kamal, senior National Conference leader and MLA Hazratbal, expressed certain reservations on the Supreme Court ruling. “See the Supreme Court cannot take the position of Parliament. There are separate institutions, including judiciary, Parliament and executive which have their defined roles under law. In democracy it is the peoples will that prevails.”
Like the NC president Dr Farooq Abdullah, Kamal said, introduction of the bill was a union government decision and the same government has withdrawn the same. “I think we should not mix and confuse the roles assigned to different insertions in a democracy.”
Ashok Kahjuria, state BJP senior leader says that his party has from day on supported a strict law against corrupt elements in politics. “The Congress government at entre had first tried to shield its corrupt politicians through the bill and ordinance but latter they succumbed to public pressure and withdrew the ordinance.”