No assurance from the government on Lokpal Bill

No assurance from the government on Lokpal Bill
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First Published: Wed, Dec 14 2011. 11 40 PM IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other Union ministers at an all-party meeting on the Lokpal Bill. Photo: PTI
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other Union ministers at an all-party meeting on the Lokpal Bill. Photo: PTI
Updated: Wed, Dec 14 2011. 11 40 PM IST
New Delhi: An all party meeting, called by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday, ended with the government not assuring whether the much debated Lokpal Bill would be passed in the current session of the Parliament, opposition leaders said. The Lokpal Bill is expected to come up for consideration on 20 December while the winter session ends two days later on 22 December.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and other Union ministers at an all-party meeting on the Lokpal Bill. Photo: PTI
“The government has given no commitment on whether the Bill will be passed in this session of the Parliament, they said that the number of days in this session was now numbered,” Ramvilas Paswan, chief of Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) told reporters. ”All parties agreed to the supremacy of the Parliament and that no decision should be taken in a hurry.”
The meeting was attended by all key opposition parties including the Left Front. Gurudas Das Kamat, leader of Communist Party of India (CPI) said, ”There is a divergence of view and the government is not saying anything.”
Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader, P Mahapatra said that most members in the all party meet favoured the inclusion of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) under the Lokpal.
”Parties which were there in the standing committee (on Lokpal Bill) took the same stand today as they took in the standing committee, including the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP),” Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, Akali Dal leader said.
Meanwhile, Singh in his address to the meet said that the government was keen on a ”good and effective” Lokpal Bill. ”The government is also keen that we must make all efforts to pass a Lokpal Bill in this very session that is based on consensus and that is driven by Parliament as the custodian of legislation,” a realease by the PMO said.
Activist Anna Hazare, who had anchored a protest in favour of the anti graft ombudsman, has threatened to go on a fast later this month if a strong Lokpal Bill does not get passed in this session of the Parliament.
anuja@livemint.com
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First Published: Wed, Dec 14 2011. 11 40 PM IST