New Delhi: Speaking in the Lok Sabha during the debate on Lokpal Bill senior Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee on Tuesday refuted the claims by the Opposition that the anti-graft bill had been tabled in Parliament in a hurry. Reaching out to the Opposition he asked them to mpass the anti-graft bill without any delay.
“Government has been accused of hastening the bill. But the Lokpal Bill has not been tabled in a hurry. It is not under duress, it is not under threat. We wanted to have a strong anti-corruption bill. We examined various inputs that were available to us. We have incorporated as many suggestions as we could. We wanted to convey the message that it was high time we should take action. Nothing has come out of the hat of a magician,” Leader of Lok Sabha categorically said.
“For the last six months from April onwards we have been debating the issue inside the house and the country has been debating it outside the house,” he said as a reminder to the Opposition.
Again taking a dig at the Opposition Pranab added, “There is a long history of the last six months. The civil society agitation went on. Sometimes I find contradictory position taken by the political parties. They say that the parliament is supreme. But on the other hand they share the stage with the civil society.” He asked them to take a “directness of approach.”
“There is nothing wrong in engaging with the civil society but I object with the stand taken by the civil society that everything has to be their way,” he clarified.
“Respect why democracy has survived in India, We have institutions that have kept it alive,” the senior Congress leader told everyone.
On the comments made by BJP leader Yashwant Sinha that Manmohan Singh’s speech in Parliament that today was his farewell speech, Pranab asked the BJP to wait for their turn to come to power. Backing the PM he said, “The Prime Minister has initiated a new direction in our democracy. He is not going anywhere.”
Agreeing with the Opposition that the bill tabled in the House may not be “best” one but nonetheless he said, “Anyone may disagree but till my death I will not agree that disruption is the way to run Parliament. He added, “This Lokpal Bill may not be best, but it is good. It
doesn`t mean we should give up good to achieve best.”
Striking an emotional chord he said, “The government is not insensitive to the suggestions made by the members of the Parliament. The government is also not insensitive to the demands made from outside. But we cannot let the system of democracy to fritter away.”
“We have to consider the bill. We have waited long enough, the senior Congress leader exhorted the members of Lok Sabha. Let us pass this bill. People are waiting for us. Let us convey the message that the Indian Parliament is determined to fight the message of corruption,” he urged the Opposition again and again.
On state Lokayuktas Pranab made the government`s stand clear, “We will bring amendment, without state govt nod, no notification for setting up Lokayukta.”