No consensus at all-party meet on Lokpal

The all-party meet on Lokpal Bill concluded with parties failing to reach at a consensus.

Zeenews Bureau

New Delhi: The all-party meet on Lokpal Bill, Wednesday, concluded with parties failing to reach at a consensus.

Chairing the all-party meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh sought cooperation to ensure its passage during the current session.

“If a consensus emerged among the political parties, the Lokpal Bill could be passed in the ongoing session of the Parliament”, he said.

“The government is keen to get it passed in Parliament based on consensus that is driven by the House”, he added.

Singh said the "momentous" Lokpal Bill should not become a subject of party politics.
The nearly three-hour long meeting witnessed divergence of opinions on the inclusion of PM and lower bureaucracy in the ambit of Lokpal.

In the meeting the BJP pitched for inclusion of Group C and D employees under the Lokpal, a stand opposed by CPI. The saffron party and other opposition parties also demanded that CBI`s investigative wing should come under Lokpal, sources said.

However, both the Left and Right were on the same page with regard to inclusion of PM under the Lokpal, they said.

The Left parties also demanded that Lokpal be accountable to Parliament.

There was also strong demand for reservation in Lokpal for scheduled castes, scheduled tribes and other backward classes.

Today`s meeting came close on the heels of consultations held by the Prime Minister with UPA allies yesterday which saw the ruling alliance projecting a united face on the issue.
With the political deadlock over the Lokpal issue continuing, the Centre yesterday okayed a slew of anti-graft bills to tackle corruption at high places, including in the judiciary.

Gandhian Anna Hazare has threatened to go on an indefinite fast from December 27 in case the Lokpal Bill was not passed in the current session.

The Lokpal Bill is expected to come up for consideration in the Lok Sabha on December 20, two days before the Winter Session of Parliament concludes.

The session may be extended by a day and the government could also think of a small session in January next for the purpose.

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