Scrap Constitution review panel: V P Singh

''It is the Constitution Review Committee headed by former Supreme Court chief justice M N Venkatachaliah that has to be scrapped and not the Constitution drafted by Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar as it has led the nation in the last 50 years,'' according to former prime minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh.

''What should be scrapped is the Review Commission -- and not the Constitution,'' Singh said criticising the newly appointed Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh chief K S Sudarshan who has said that the Constitution has to be scrapped.

''I do not see any logic behind the review,'' the former prime minister said addressing the Samvidhan Gaurav Sammelan at Girgaum Chowpatty in Bombay yesterday.

Singh, who was instrumental in implementing the recommendations of the Mandal Commission when he was the prime minister in 1990, lambasted the Sangh Parivar and its frontal organisations for the move behind changing the Constitution. He said that it is being designed to suit their needs and not to serve the nation.

Singh described the Commission as an unconstitutional body and said that it has been appointed by the National Democratic Alliance government led by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee boycotting and bypassing the political parties and Parliament. He said that he was not opposed to amendments, but reviewing the Constitution does not have any meaning.

He said that there could have been a consensus over the issue, but the Bharatiya Janata Party never thought of it.

Experts could have debated over the matter, he felt. Nothing has been made clear by the government as to what it actually intends to do after the review. The present government has no mandate to review the Constitution.

He said that the BJP does not have two-thirds majority either in the Lok Sabha or the Rajya Sabha, and there was no point in reviewing the Constitution. ''They (the government and Sangh Parivar) have been talking about scrapping Article 370, introducing the presidential form of government, introducing Common Civil Code and scrapping the Constitution and now they are keeping mum to confuse the people of the country,'' he said.

He felt that by reviewing the Constitution the Sangh Parivar would actually shake the foundation of the secular principles and democracy of India.

He said that the Sangh Parivar is also trying to politicise bureaucracy which has been neutral in the past.

Talking about political stability in the country, he said, ''Till the poor are irritated and irked you cannot have stability,'' he said.

He said that the Constitution has been drafted carefully by Dr Ambedkar after enough discussions in the Constituent Assembly and then a discussion by the expert committee.

Each and every word has been penned carefully -- and those who try to erase the words will not politically survive in this great democracy, he added.

UNI


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