Govt for Lokpal debate in Parliament sans voting

Amidst the issue of Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption getting more complex, the government on Friday said it is willing to hold a debate in Parliament on the Lokpal Bill on August 27, but without voting.

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2011, 00:25 AM IST

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: Amidst the issue of Anna Hazare’s fast against corruption getting more complex, the government on Friday said it is willing to hold a debate in Parliament on the Lokpal Bill on August 27, but without voting.

Confirming the development, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said, “We have accepted the demands made by the Opposition that a debate on Lokpal be initiated by the government first and followed by a full-fledged debate on the same throughout the day.”

However, Bansal stopped short of confirming that there would be a voting after the debate.

Bansal further informed, “Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has written to Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar seeking her permission to initiate the debate on the issue in Lok Sabha tomorrow.”

“The debate will start at 11 AM with an opening address by Finance Minister but there will be no voting as the discussion will take place under Rule 193 which doesn`t allow for it,” Bansal said.
The Minister also expressed optimism that Pranab’s statement in Lok Sabha will pave way for a positive and comprehensive discussion on the issue of Lokpal. “The government is of the opinion that all political parties could also take a view on the Lokpal issue after Pranab’s statement is made in Lok Sabha,” Bansal said.

He said that on the basis of tomorrow’s debate, Gandhian leader Anna Hazare could end his fast as announced by his key associates early this morning.

This is contrary to the demands made by the main Opposition BJP to hold a discussion in Parliament on the subject under Rule 184, which entails voting.
Earlier today, BJP moved a motion in both the Houses of Parliament for voting on the Lokpal issue after discussion. Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha, Sushma Swaraj, moved a motion under Rule 184 which ensures a vote after debate. Similarly, Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Arun Jaitley, too moved a motion under Rule 168 which also requires voting.

Final decision on the admissibility of the same will be taken by the Speaker.

With the BJP wanting a vote on the Lokpal debate, the issue in Parliament seems to have become political.

Separately, a notice was also given by three Congress MPs for discussion on the Jan Lokpal Bill in Parliament. The notice was given by Sanjay Nirupam, Jagdambika Pal and Renu Tandon under Rule 193.