On Board Air India One: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made it clear on Saturday that all efforts were in place to pass the Lokpal Bill in the Winter Session. Nonetheless he also added that the “onus of passing the bill will be on the Parliament.”
“We are determined to pass Lokpal Bill in this session,” the PM categorically said, adding, “The sincerity to pass the bill by the government should not be doubted,” in an apparent effort to silence those who were questioning the government’s willingness to debate the Lokpal Bill in the current session of Parliament.
He added pointedly, “We are working day and night to give shape to the Lokpal Bill.” The PM’s remarks can be seen to be directed at Team Anna and the Opposition who are questioning the government’s lack of will to bring a strong anti-graft bill.
The PM further said that he hoped to bring the bill up for discussion in the Cabinet tomorrow. He revealed the same while returning to the country from Russia tour. He also appealed to all not to doubt the “sincerity of the government.”
Meanwhile, social activist Anna Hazare has threatened to go on another fast from December 27 if the anti-corruption bill is not passed in this session. There are also talks of the Winter Session being extended.
On the issue of conflict of interest in which P Chidambaram is currently embroiled, the PM said he had not had the opportunity to talk to the Home Minister. Nonetheless he added, “Chidambaram is not capable of the guilt of which he has been accused of.”