Lokpal: Govt mulling dropping Lokayukta clauses

Government appears to be planning to drop the clauses in the Lokpal Bill pertaining to setting up of Lokayuktas in states.

New Delhi: Government appears to be planning
to drop the clauses in the Lokpal Bill pertaining to setting
up of Lokayuktas in states, a provision that faced stiff
opposition from friends and foes alike.

A senior minister said the government was contemplating
the move that would help clear the obstacles in the way of its
easy passage in Parliament as also dismiss the opposition
campaign that Congress was against the measure.

A fresh consultation between the government and the
opposition is possible so as to ensure that the anti-graft
Bill is passed in the first part of the budget session.

A section in Congress feels if the Bill is not passed at
the earliest, the issue would trouble it in the next Lok Sabha
elections.
The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill was passed by the Lok
Sabha in December last year and it has been in the Rajya Sabha
where now the Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy
will be replying to the debate.

As the earlier amendments have lapsed, members have to
give fresh notices on the Bill.
Replying to a notice given by the Leader of the
Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley seeking suspension of
the Question Hour to resume the debate on the Lokpal bill,
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said the
government has studied the 187 amendments moved by opposition
and UPA allies since the debate on the bill was adjourned
after the House was adjourned sine die on December 29.

"We want to bring the Bill within this part of the
session itself," he said in the Upper House.

His statement marked a change of stand by the government
as the minister had at a session-eve press conference said it
would be difficult to take up the Bill in the first part due
to financial business.

PTI

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