If needed, will extend Parliament`s session for Lokpal Bill: Kamal Nath
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Monday said that the Parliament`s ongoing session could be extended for Lokpal Bill if any need arises.
Zee Media Bureau
New Delhi: With the deadlock continuing over the Lokpal Bill, over which social activist and anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare is on an indefinite fast for past seven days, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath on Monday said that the Parliament`s ongoing session could be extended if any need arises.
Talking exclusively to Dinesh Sharma of Zee Media, the Minister said, "We have sought support from all parties to ensure the Lokpal bill is passed. We will extend the Parliament session if needed."
Nath today appealed to the Samajwadi Party to support the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha as a senior SP member said the party is opposed to the anti-corruption legislation.
Speaking to reporters outside Parliament, Kamal Nath said, "The Upper House must pass the Lokpal Bill on Tuesday so that it could be brought to the Lok Sabha."
"I am very confident it will be passed in the Rajya Sabha, and after that we will strive to bring it to the Lok Sabha. We appeal to the Samajwadi Party to support the bill. Everyone wants it passed, and they should abide by the wishes of the people," Nath said.
The amended version of the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, was scheduled to be brought to the Rajya Sabha on Monday, but both houses were adjourned as a mark of respect to union Labour Minister Sis Ram Ola, who died a day ago.
Samajwadi Party leader Ram Gopal Yadav said the party was against the provisions of the Lokpal Bill. Ram Gopal Yadav said his party wants a discussion in parliament on price rise but it was not being accepted.
"My demand from very first day of the house is that there must be discussion on price rise, but they did not accept it. But we should not correlate these two things (opposition to Lokpal and demand for discussion on price rise)."
"We are opposed to the Lokpal bill and are of the opinion that if such a bill comes into force, no officer, no minister will sign on decisions on files and the entire country and decision-making process of the country will come to a standstill," he said.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha chairman has also called a meet at 3 pm to discuss the Lokpal Bill.
On Saturday, the ruling Congress made an appeal to all parties to support the legislation with party vice president Rahul Gandhi addressing a brief press conference to say that there was broad consensus over the measure and they needed to get it past the finish line.
Gandhi said the process to set up the ombudsman, or Lokpal, was 99 percent complete and only needed the remaining one percent support from parties to get it passed in Parliament.
The legislation has also won support from Gandhian crusader Anna Hazare, who is on fast in his Ralegan Siddhi village of Maharashtra for a strong Lokpal Bill. Hazare began the campaign for a strong Lokpal Bill two years ago to fight corruption which was seen as widespread in the country.
The Lokpal Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in December 2011.
The current Winter Session, scheduled to end Dec 20, unless it is extended, is likely to be the penultimate session of Parliament before next year`s general elections.