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Jan Lokpal Bill: Too many lawyers advising this government, says Arun Jaitley

Posted by on August 18, 2011 0 Comment

The opposition on Wednesday targeted the PM’s ministerial advisors, blaming them for the confrontation with Anna Hazare, and earning discreet endorsement from many in Congress.

“The problem with this government is that it has too many lawyers advising it. The problem with lawyers is that they look at issues through the prism of technicality,” leader of opposition Arun Jaitley said in what was widely interpreted as a reference to the influence of home minister P Chidambaram and HRD minister Kapil Sibal. Reputed for their legal skills, Chidambaram and Sibal are seen as a major influence on the PM’s response to the challenge from Hazare.

Jaitley, himself a lawyer, said good lawyers don’t necessarily make good problem solvers. “Politics and legal profession are two different streams. Lawyers tend to look at political problems though the prism of technicality , by quoting provisions of CrPC. But political problems require political solutions,” Jaitley said in a remark which appeared to play well with Congress benches.

The leader of opposition refrained from mentioning names but his NDA colleague Sharad Yadav, JD(U) leader in Lok Sabha, did not exercise similar restraint . Referring to Sibal’s r i s – ing influence in policy making, Yadav told Sibal, “You are in charge of two ministries. Yet, you have to negotiate with Ramdev, as well as play government’s chief spokesperson and principal defender, although sometimes you get assistance from Chidambaram.”

The double-barreled assault was well received by Congress circles which have lately been smarting under the feeling felt that the government has been taking unpolitical decisions. Yadav , who took digs also at Chidambaram , another “lawyer-minister” with an important role in shaping government’s policies on the issue of Lokpal and how to deal with Hazare’s agitation, advised Sibal to stop quoting provisions of law when dealing with political problems.

Just like Jaitley, Yadav faulted the government for denying permission to Hazare’s group for peaceful protest. Saying that expression of dissent was intrinsic to democracy, he said the heavens would not have fallen if the veteran Gandhian’s supporters had been given a venue.

The opposition also criticized the government for, as Jaitley alleged, taking shelter behind Delhi Police commissioner . Expressing incredulity about the claim, Yadav rhetorically asked, “If that is the case, then what are you here for?” He also warned that dependence on police was not a good augury for a government.

Along with lawyer-ministers , Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari also came in for attack from Yadav and leader of opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj for using harsh language against Hazare. TOI

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