Can accept one or two amendments on Lokpal: PC

Chidambaram attacked BJP saying it had devised an "ingenious" method to scuttle it by pushing 187 amendments along with some other parties.

Last Updated: Dec 31, 2011, 15:37 PM IST

Mumbai: Admitting that the government was taken by surprise by Trinamool Congress` opposition to Lokpal Bill in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister P Chidambaram on Saturday said one or two amendments could be accepted to rope in the ally`s
support for passage of the legislation in Budget session.

Chidambaram defended the deferment of Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 in Rajya Sabha on December 29 contending that it was the "only prudent course" before the government and that it had ensured that the Bill remained alive.
He continued attack on BJP it said it had devised an "ingenious" method to scuttle it by pushing 187 amendments along with some other parties.

"We were taken by surprise (by TMC). We thought we had convinced them after redrafting a provision, Chidambaram told a press conference here.

"We failed to convince Trinamool Congress. We are confident that between now and Budget session we will refine or redraft the provision and carry Trinamool along with us," he said, adding a provision may be redrafted "in order to accommodate" Trinamool Congress.

"We may have to refine and redefine. As far as passing the bill in Rajya Sabha is concerned, we may accept one or two amendments. It will be the same bill, with one or two amendments. We cannot accept 187 amendments, it will be
unrecognisable bill," Chidambaram said.

He said the government has "hard work ahead" but it wants the bill to be passed in the next session.

On the developments in the Upper House for which the UPA has come under attack, Chidambaram said, "the only prudent course before the government was to let the debate remain inconclusive so that it can be taken up in Budget Session.

PTI