All-party meet on Lokpal to forge consensus: PM

Manmohan Singh said the all-party meeting on Lokpal was part of government`s effort to achieve a "meaningful consensus" on the issue.

New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Thursday said the all-party meeting here on Lokpal tomorrow was
part of government`s effort to achieve a "meaningful
consensus" on the issue.

Singh will meet senior leaders of all parties at his
residence to discuss the controversial bill, to which 97
amendments have been moved by Opposition members in Rajya
Sabha.

"We have called a meeting of political parties. It is our
effort to achieve a meaningful consensus," Singh told
reporters here.

The bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha in the last
winter session, remained short of going through the procedures
of passage in the Upper House at that time as the term of the
session had expired.

Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanaswamy was in
the midst of replying to the debate when the session expired
at midnight.

Opposition parties have moved 97 amendments to the Bill
in Rajya Sabha some of which were contentious and the meeting
would discuss ways to evolve consensus on them, sources said.

Some of the amendments, the sources said, are for
bringing the Prime Minister`s Office under the Lokpal, seek
exclusion of Lokayukta from the Bill, abolition of
minority quota and inclusion of Leader of the Opposition in
Rajya Sabha as one of the members of the selection committee.

Government is keen on passing the Lokpal Bill in the
Rajya Sabha even as the opposition and social activist Anna
Hazare have renewed pressure on the issue.

PTI

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