New Delhi: The Congress party-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on Thursday said it will table the Lokpal Bill in the current session of Parliament, though it acknowledged a lack of consensus on the proposed Bill at an all-party meet.
“I believe that it would be possible. Yesterday, there was an all-party meeting where 35 different parties participated. All had different views on the issue,” parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said. “To say there was broad consensus on the issue would be wrong. This has increased the workload of the government.”
Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal. File photo
Despite the assurance, anti-graft activist Anna Hazare called for an agitation and reiterated his decision to go on a fast on 27 December if a strong Lokpal Bill is not passed in the current session.
“If no decision is reached on the Jan Lokpal Bill by 22 December then my fast will begin on 27 December,” Hazare told reporters on Thursday at the end of a two-day meeting with his associates.
“If the weather is fine then it will be in Delhi, if not then (in) Mumbai, but from 1 January a nationwide jail bharo (fill the jails) agitation will begin.”
Hazare added he would “personally agitate in front of the residence of (Congress leaders) Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi.” The Parliament session should be extended if necessary to ensure the passage of the Bill, he said.
Bihar’s ruling Janata Dal (United) party demanded a special session of Parliament to debate the Lokpal Bill.
“The Lokpal Bill should not be hurriedly passed. All members should be given a chance to give their opinions. Special session should be called to deliberate the Lokpal Bill,” party leader Sharad Yadav told reporters.
PTI contributed to this story.