Lokpal: Government reaching out to Opposition
Intending to bring the Lokpal bill again in Parliament in the current session, the government is reaching out to Opposition parties.
New Delhi: Intending to bring the Lokpal bill again in Parliament in the current session, the government is reaching out to Opposition parties to evolve a broad consensus on the highly contentious legislation.
Sources said the Minister of State in PMO V Narayanasamy is informally meeting Opposition leaders separately to build a consensus on the contentious provisions of the bill on which there was no agreement in the past.
Though the all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on March 23 to thrash out the differences on the issue had failed to evolve a consensus on the controversial provisions, it had decided to continue the negotiations and try to introduce the bill in the budget session.
The bill could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha in the Winter session and was adjourned sine die abruptly amid high drama with the Opposition accusing the government of running away from a vote because it was in a minority.
The bill, which was earlier passed in Lok Sabha in the same session, was brought in the Upper House on the last day of the Winter session and key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress refused to bail out the government there.
Even in all-party meeting this year, a large number of Opposition and key allies like Trinamool Congress and DMK had opposed the provision for setting up Lokayuktas in states along with Lokpal and wanted states should be free to decide on it.
Sources said that the government is keen to bring the bill in this session and at least introduce it in Rajya Sabha.
Since the Lokpal bill is likely to come in an amended form, it will again require to be passed by Lok Sabha, which may not happen in this session, the sources said.
The government has also decided to introduce the whistleblower bill in Rajya Sabha next week. This bill aimed at giving protection to those exposing corruption was also passed by Lok Sabha in the last session.
Other key bills listed for the Rajya Sabha next week are the judicial standards and accoutability bill. Finance Bill will be passed on May 8, the sources said.