Cong core group meet ends; Lokayukta clause may go
New Delhi: Even as the Lokpal Bill is all set for voting in the Rajya Sabha amidst deadlock, the Congress core group met here to deliberate over the measures to keep its allies intact, after it became clear that the Left and the BJP will vote against it.
According to sources, the Congress may agree to drop the contentious Lokayukta clause from the draft as demanded by Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress in a last ditch effort to avoid the embarrassment in Rajya Sabha.
The meeting was attended by Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, among others.
It should be noted that Trinamool Congress today mounted pressure on the government by insisting that it will move amendment to delete the provision for setting up Lokayuktas at the state level.
Trinamool Congress, which has six members in the Rajya Sabha, said they will "strongly" oppose the provision and want the deletion of Part III of The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill, 2011 which deals with setting up of Lokayuktas at state level.
"We have already submitted our amendments. We are going to press for it," Mukul Roy, Trinamool leader and Minister of State for Shipping, told reporters here.
The bill passed by Lok Sabha two days ago has provisions for setting up of Lokayuktas in the states with the consent of state governments.
The Lokpal Bill is facing stern opposition in the Upper House with different parties have moved as many as 173 amendments in it.
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