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BJP objects to interruptions during Advani's comments in Lok Sabha

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, JUNE 4. The Bharatiya Janata Party today blamed the ruling parties for interrupting the Leader of the Opposition, L.K. Advani, when he rose in the Lok Sabha today to comment on the inclusion of "tainted'' Ministers in the new Government.

The party spokesperson, V.K. Malhotra, said that no previous Government had inducted criminally charged persons as Ministers even as he refused to admit that the Vajpayee Government did have a number of Ministers against whom there were serious criminal cases.

Mr. Malhotra insisted those were "political'' cases, including the criminal ones related to the Babri Masjid demolition against several outgoing Ministers, among whom was Mr. Advani himself.

He condemned the members of the ruling coalition parties for not allowing Mr. Advani to speak and added that "we never disturbed the proceedings when the former Leader of the Opposition (Sonia Gandhi) spoke.''

He said the National Democratic Alliance parties led by the BJP would meet again on June 7 to "rethink'' their parliamentary strategy in view of what had happened in the House today.

At the same time, NDA members would not disturb the President's address to the joint session of Parliament that day.

This morning, the NDA had met and decided that the issue of "tainted'' Ministers should be taken up without losing time.

The opportunity came when the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, rose to introduce the members of the new Council of Ministers to the House and Mr. Advani sought two minutes to make his point.

Mr. Malhotra later said the induction of Ministers who had been to jail and were out on bail had lowered the dignity of India in the eyes of the world, it had lowered the dignity of the House and it was an affront to democracy.

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