New Delhi: The Lokpal Bill had not been brought to Parliament under any pressure but as part of the commitment of the Congress and the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday told a meeting of his party`s MPs.
Mukherjee briefed the MPs about developments on the Anna Hazare situation. The 74-year-old`s fast for a powerful Lokpal bill has entered its 10th day.
The minister, Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters after the meeting, informed MPs about the draft of a Lokpal Bill when he chaired the standing committee. He said a new bill was prepared following emphasis laid by Congress president Sonia Gandhi after the UPA government returned to power in 2009.
"When it (Lokpal Bill) was presented in Parliament, it was not done under any pressure but as part of commitment of the Congress and UPA," Dwivedi said.
Congress sources said that the meeting of party MPs was convened in the wake of disquiet in a section of the party over the government`s handling of the situation.
Some party MPs have criticised Hazare`s arrest and his being lodged in Tihar jail before his release.
The meeting of the Congress parliamentary party is normally addressed by Sonia Gandhi, who is abroad recuperating after a surgery.