BJP lauds its performance during monsoon session

New Delhi, Sep 7 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Saturday patted itself on the back for the successful conclusion of the monsoon session of parliament.

It sought to take credit for the passage of the national food security bill, land acquisition bill and pension fund regulatory and development authority (PFRDA) bill.

The main opposition party also took credit for frustrating the government's attempt to rush through the amendments to the right to information act - exempting political parties from its purview - and also to the representation of people's act allowing convicted members of parliament to participate in house proceedings. They were referred to the parliamentary standing committees.

BJP leader Sushma Swaraj admitted they agreed to go along with the government even on bills that left much to be desired because the party did not want to give it (government) an excuse to go public crying foul.

Swaraj said BJP lawmakers took recourse to all parliamentary instruments to force the government to accept people-friendly changes in the legislation it brought during the session.

She asserted that it was because of their resistance that better provisions were included in the national food security bill.

For PFRDA, the BJP succeeded in making the government agree to a cap of 26 percent on foreign direct investment and giving pensioners the option of having their money invested in risky private instruments or government securities, Swaraj said.

Leader of opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley said their efforts brought about the necessary changes in the land acquisition bill that ensured higher compensation to farmers and no obstacles in the way to growth.

"We sought to strike a balance between the interests of farmers and industry," Jaitley said.

Taking credit for whatever was achieved in the session, Swaraj said they had repeatedly forced the government to answer questions on the precarious state of the economy.

The BJP urged the government to refer to the parliamentary committee the bill for amending the constitution for creating a judicial appointments commission to select judges for the higher judiciary.

Swaraj said a piquant situation has emerged as the Rajya Sabha has passed the bill while it has not been introduced in the Lok Sabha. She said the government could still refer it to the parliamentary committee.

Jaitley described Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's government as directionless while Swaraj said the coalgate scam has become some sort of a serial with one after the other episode unfolding now and then.

Jaitley said it was only the BJP's repeated hammering of the government over the deteriorating economic situation that forced the "reluctant prime minister" to make a statement on the economy.

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