All-party meet on Lokpal without precedent: Advani

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani Monday described as "unique and without precedent" an all-party meeting on the Lokpal bill.

Last Updated: Jul 04, 2011, 15:34 PM IST

New Delhi: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader LK Advani Monday described as "unique and without precedent" an all-party meeting on the Lokpal bill, saying it was unanimous in its criticism of the government.

"I have been in Parliament for 40 years, and have attended numerous all-party meetings convened by the government. The meeting held by the prime minister on July 3 evening, however, proved unique and without precedent," Advani wrote in his blog.

"Never before has an all-party meeting turned out to be so unanimous in its criticism of the government as last Sunday`s," he said.
The meeting on the Lokpal bill ended in differences as parties discussed the government and civil society versions of the ombudsman bill. All parties, however, agreed on the need for a strong Lokpal.

Even as the main opposition BJP keeps its official stand on the inclusion of the prime minister under Lokpal reserved, Advani in his latest blog has given a list of Lokpal bill versions that wants the prime ministers under the Lokpal, including the one brought by the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.

"The Lokpal bills presented subsequently by the NDA Governments under Atal Bihari Vajpayee also covered the Prime Minister. I well remember that Atalji as PM was very insistent that the Prime Minister should not be kept out of the Lokpal`s jurisdiction," Advani said.
He also quoted Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley to say the bill needs to be "completely overhauled".

"He wished to emphasise that the Ministerial draft would make Lokpal a pliable government person. When government introduces the Lokpal bill in Parliament let the present draft be completely overhauled," Advani added.
He also hailed Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai for unveiling the government`s corruption. Quoting from a magazine, Advani said, "Behind every gigantic scam that has shaken the Manmohan Singh regime - CWG, 2G or KG basin - there is the quiet and assertive hand of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India."

IANS