New Delhi: Rejecting Opposition’s charge that the Lokpal Bill drafted by the government is weak and unconstitutional, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday assured that the anti-graft legislation will surely weed out corruption from our society.
Speaking in Lok Sabha after witnessing a fierce debate on the Lokpal Bill Prime Minister said, “Madam Speaker, I would like to assure all my colleagues in this August House that the Lokpal Bill drafted by the government lives up to the promise made in the Sense of the House.”
“The nation is waiting with bated breath for Lokpal Bill and I have honest belief that the Bill presented by the government lives up to the expectations,” he said.
Maintaining that formulating law is the privilege of Parliament, Singh said, “Others can persuade and have their voices heard but the final decision must rest with us (Parliament).”
Singh also categorically rejected opposition’s charge that his government has not done enough to tackle corruption.
Acknowledging people’s anger against corruption, Prime Minister warned against creating something that will unleash forces of chaos and anarchy in the name of fighting corruption. “Let us not create something which will destroy all we cherish,” he added.
PM appealed to the Parliamentarians to rise above party politics and ensure smooth passage of the Lokpal Bill.
“MPs should not breach the promise of passing the Lokpal Bill and setting up of Lokayuktas in respective states,” he said.
Adopting a holistic view on the issue, Singh made a direct appeal to all political parties to think in the national interest first.
Assuring the independence of the CBI, Singh said, “I would like to assure you all that the CBI should function independently but within the constitutional framework,” adding. “ I believe CBI should function independently of Lokpal.”
“Argument of independence of the CBI does not mean absence of accountability, “he said.
The Prime Minister also highlighted UPA government ‘s achievement during his concise speech and reiterated his government’s commitment to bring an effective Lokpal.
Endorsing Union Telecom Minister’s view, Singh asked all the state government to share the responsibility of fighting corruption.
Ahead of the debate, Dr Singh expressed optimism that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the current session of Parliament.
Speaking to reporters before entering the Parliament, Singh said his government believes Lokpal would become a reality.
The government wouldn’t have introduced the Bill if it was not confident of numbers to get the Bill passed in this session, he stated.