Govt to debate on Lokpal in Parliament

Team Anna said the Gandhian will end his fast immediately after a resolution on Lokpal Bill is passed by Parliament today.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: In a bid to end the standoff with Team Anna, the government on Friday will hold a comprehensive debate on all versions of the Lokpal Bill draft prepared by various factions in Parliament.

Besides, the government may be willing to give a written assurance to Anna.

In response to government’s move, Team Anna claimed that the noted Gandhian will end his fast immediately after a resolution on Lokpal Bill is passed by Parliament today.

Sources said the discussion will be held in both Houses of Parliament on the Lokpal issue under Rule 184, which also entails voting on the subject after the conclusion of the debate.

The discussions will take place on the Bill in the shape of a "document" and its salient features after which the records of the debate are expected to be sent to the Parliamentary Standing Committee examining the Lokpal Bill.

The decision in this regard was reached during hectic parleys within the government, which included Union Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh`s meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Subsequently, Singh held consultations with senior ministerial colleagues Pranab Mukherjee and AK Antony. The decision to hold the discussion marks meeting of a major demand of Hazare who said only then he would decide on ending his fast.

During the discussion, members will be free to speak on Aruna Roy`s version of Lokpal Bill as also another version. In view of the discussion, Parliament will have a sitting on Saturday, the sources said.

The meeting took place soon after Hazare reacted to Parliament`s appeal to end his fast and demanded that it discuss from tomorrow three key issues on Jan Lokpal and reach an agreement first.

The three conditions that Anna set for the government include bringing lower bureaucracy within the ambit of the Lokpal, bringing citizen’s charter and appointing Lokayukta in all states.

Separately, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal met with Pranab Mukherjee on the issue of discussions.

Bansal also had a meeting with Law Minister Salman Khurshid apparently to work out the format for such a discussion. East Delhi MP Sandeep Dikshit, who also been involved in negotiations with Team Anna, was also present in the meeting.

The meetings took place on a day when Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told the Lok Sabha that Parliament will find effective ways and means to discuss the Jan Lokpal Bill, along with the government version of the Bill, Aruna Roy`s Bill and the paper presented by Jaiprakash Narayan.

Prime Minister also made a passionate appeal to the 74-year-old crusader to end his fast for an effective anti-corruption law, a campaign that has generated nationwide support.

"I respect his idealism, I respect him as an individual... I applaud him, I salute him," Manmohan Singh said in the Lok Sabha.