New Delhi: After the government turned down their suggestions for convening a special Parliament session and holding an all-party meeting, BJP leaders today claimed they had a satisfactory meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee and he shared their concern on the issue.
BJP's parliamentary party chief LK Advani led a seven-member delegation which met Mr Mukherjee this evening after Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde ruled out the two suggestions given by the principal opposition party.
"We are happy to learn that he feels it is an outrage of the whole nation...He said he had a brief talk with the Prime Minister on this issue and will discuss the issue again with him after our meeting," Mr Advani told reporters after the meeting.
Mr Advani described the discussions with the President as "very satisfactory" and said he was "all concerned" about the issue. The BJP leader maintained that there is a feeling among the people "not only about the failure of the government but also of the political class" as their expectations are not being fulfilled.
Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj said she had received a call from Mr Shinde just before the delegation met the President. "The Home Minister said he does not feel the need for a special session of Parliament or of calling an all-party meeting. I told him if he does not feel the need now then when will the government feel the need. He said things are cooling down now. The government has neither consulted the political class nor agreed to discuss it in Parliament," she said.
BJP president Nitin Gadkari, Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley, senior party leaders Murli Manohar Joshi, Rajnath Singh and Venkaiah Naidu were also part of the delegation.
Earlier in the day, the BJP core group and party general secretaries held a meeting to discuss the growing outrage among the people against atrocities and crime against women. The party decided to take the issue to the President.
"The reaction and anger against ruthless atrocities on women is there not just in Delhi but other parts of the country as well. The government is not doing what it should do.... So we decided to go to the country's and Parliament's highest authority and asked him to intervene," Mr Advani said.
BJP thanked Mr Mukherjee for being prompt in giving the opposition an appointment today itself and spending half-an-hour with the main opposition to discuss the issue. Ms Swaraj told the President at the meeting that government has turned down the opposition's suggestion for holding a special Parliament session to amend the present laws on crimes against women, for making them more stringent.
She had earlier said in a statement that the response of the Home Minister even during the discussion in Parliament on crimes against women was as "tame, timid and casual".