Thiruvnanthapuram: Union Finance Minister
Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday said the UPA government was ready to
bring in and get the Lokpal Bill passed in the next session of
Parliament if the Opposition cooperated with it.
Responding to queries on BJP leader LK Advani`s demand
that the Lokpal Bill should be introduced and passed in the
next session of Parliament itself, Mukherjee said "we are glad
to get it passed if the opposition co-operated for it".
"I really welcome the suggestion. BJP is the principal
opposition party. If he (Advani) prevails upon his members
we will be too glad to get it passed without sending it to
the Standing Committee. But instead of making announcements
from the platform, let him ensure that his members in the
Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha will co-operate with us,"
Mukherjee told reporters at the KPCC headquarters here.
But he sought to know what the BJP-led NDA government had
done for the enactment of the Lokpal Bill when it was in
power from 1998 to 2004.
"What had Advani done? What prevented him from getting the
Lokpal Bill passed when he was the home minister when the
NDA was in power?" Mukherjee said.
On Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev`s criticism about nomination of
father-son lawyer duo Santhi Bhushan and Prasanth Bhushan
as civil society members in the Lokpal drafting panel, he said
these names were proposed by Anna Hazare himself.
The agreement between the campaigners and the government
was that the nominees of the panel would be decided on
50:50 ratio by each side. It was agreed that the government
nominees would be selected by the prime minister and the civil
group representatives by Hazare himself, he said.