Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal Bill: As it happened
After several days of disruptions, a crucial debate on Lokpal Bill began in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday amid strong protest from the Samajwadi Party.
Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava and Manisha Singh
9:20 pm: Lokpal Bill to boost investments, says Industry
Welcoming the passage of Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha, India Inc said that once enacted it will help weed out corruption, boost investor confidence and expedite the decision making process. "The Lokpal Bill would encourage investments and add to investor confidence. It would help improve the climate for doing business in the country," said CII President Kris Gopalakrishnan. - PTI
7:55 pm: Congress gives credit to Rahul Gandhi for passage of Lokpal Bill
"It is due to the single-minded determination of Rahul Gandhi, because of earnest attempts from Rahul Gandhi`s side, we could prevail over all the parties. It has become reality because Rahul Gandhi took the initiative. It was his determination that the bill should be passed, says Congress spokesperson PC Chacko. – PTI
7:00 pm: Bad day for Lokpal, says AAP
It’s a bad day for Lokpal. Anna agrees only 40% corruption will go down. An insult to those who asked for a better Lokpal, says AAP leader Kumar Vishwas to a news agency.
6:45 pm: Saw tears of joy in Anna`s eyes, says Kiran Bedi
Anna`s aide Kiran Bedi tweets – "I saw tears of joy in Anna`s eyes. What an achievement for the country forever! Time will tell what a difference this will bring to the country."
6:30 pm: Not against functional bill which actually fights corruption, says SP
"Not against a functional bill which actually fights corruption, this Lokpal will just lead to more corruption," says SP leader Naresh Agarwal. – ANI
6:15 pm: UPA government got the Lokpal Bill passed, says Kapil Sibal
The credit goes to all the Members of Parliament and the political class. But the fact of the matter is that the UPA government got the Lokpal Bill passed, says Kapil Sibal.
6:10 pm: Kamal Nath thanks all the political parties for their support
I thank all the political parties. I am confident that the Lokpal Bill will be passed in the Lok Sabha too. The bill was necessary to regain the lost confidence of the people, says Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath.
6:05 pm: Passing of Lokpal Bill is a landmark step, says PM
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says that the passing of the Lokpal Bill was a landmark step.
6:00 pm: Will break fast after Lokpal Bill is passed by Lok Sabha, says Anna Hazare.
Social activist Anna Hazare, who is on a fast in his native village to press for the anti-graft bill, says thanks to the Parliamentarians for passing the bill in the Upper House. However, he said that he will break his fast only after the bill is passed in the Lok Sabha tomorrow. Meanwhile, celebrations break out in Ralegan Siddhi.
5:55 pm: Rajya Sabha passes Lokpal Bill
The historic Lokpal Bill is passed by the Rajya Sabha after debate. The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011 could not be passed in the House in December 2011. It was brought back after being referred to the Parliamentary Select Committee that recommended a number of amendments to make it widely acceptable among the political parties.
5:25 pm: Voting starts in the Upper House on Lokpal Bill
Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari moves motion on amendments put forward by the political parties on Lokpal Bill. Voting on Lokpal Bill begins.
5:15 pm: The will of the House delivered, says Kapil Sibal
Law alone will not ensure in the elimination of corruption. It can deal with it and perhaps deter people. The economic divide needs to be bridged. The collective will of the House has delivered. The consensus of the House is that the PM should be included within the ambit of the Lokpal Bill.
4:20 pm: Lokpal Bill is not in the interest of the nation, says SP
SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav says that he cannot support the legislation as it is not in the interest of the nation.
4:10 pm: CM should be brought under Lokpal Bill, says DMK
DMK says that the Chief Minister should be brought under the purview of the Bill. Supporting the measure, party leader K P Ramalingam said that religious institutions should be included under the Bill`s ambit.
3:38 pm: Better late than never, says BJP
Taking a dig at the UPA govt, BJP leader says, "The person who becomes the Lokpal must understand the enormity of the power. Had this Bill been passed in 2011, it would have been better."
3:30 pm: `Need to reconsider clauses in Lokpal Bill`
"We are setting an example by bringing the Prime Minister under the purview of the Lokpal Bill. Accused should not be informed about the prima facie case against him/her before investigation," Prasad says while asking the government to reconsider the clause relating to this.
3:20 pm: RS Prasad thanks Anna, slams Kejriwal
Prasad also thanked Anna Hazare for his movement for the Lokpal Bill, however, he also took a dig at AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal saying, "We know what people who were once with Anna are now doing."
"Corruption has spread as many administrators have not learned to say No," RS Prasad says.
3:15 pm: `We need Lokpal since people have lost faith in us`
BJP MP Ravi Shankar Prasad says, "Why has such a situation come that we need the Lokpal Bill. People have lost faith in politicians even as there are some honest politicians too."
3:10 pm: NCP opposes provisions of Lokpal Bill
NCP MP Dr Yogendra Trivedi claims Clause 6 of the Lokpal Bill needs to be reworked. "The clause calls for informing the accused beforehand that there is a prima facie case against him. We think that this should not be the case as if the accused is told in advance, he will destroy all evidence," Trivedi says.
2:45 pm: `Lokpal Bill has gained pace due to Congress` poll debacle`
Speaking in Rajya Sabha, AIADMK MP Dr V Maitreyan says, "The Lokpal Bill had gained pace as a result of the UPA government`s debacle in the assembly polls."
"Consensus was reached in November 2011 on the Bill, but the UPA government slept over it. They got it now because of the assembly poll debacle," the AIADMK leader says.
2:30 pm: Lokpal alone can`t check corruption, says JD-U
Speaking on his turn, JD-U MP Shivanand Tiwari says, "The Lokpal Bill alone cannot eradicate corruption as the gap between the rich and the poor has to be finished to completely remove corruption."
Calling for the need to bridge the gap between the rich and poor, Tiwari says, "My party supports the Lokpal Bill."
2:20 pm: TMC questions judges` role in Lokpal Bill
Continuing the debate after half-n-hour lunch break, TMC MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy says, why should judges head institutions like the Lokpal Bill.
The TMC MP refers to sexual harassment case against former Supreme Court Justice AK Ganguly during the debate. Roy concluds by thanking the Congress government for accepting suggestions on the Lokpal Bill.
1.35 pm: Lokpal Bill to be debated in LS tomorrow
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath informs Rajya Sabha that Lok Sabha`s Business Advisory Committee has allocated four hours for debate on Lokpal Bill on Wednesday. "We are confident that Lokpal Bill will be passed with consensus," Kamal Nath says.
1.15 pm: `Govt drafted Lokpal is ineffective`
Lokpal Bill says we will stop the `demand` for corruption, but why is it silent about `supply`, Yechury says. The CPI(M) leader maintains the Lokpal Bill in it
Yechury also quotes a popular old Hindi film song `Ankhon hi ankhon mein ishara ho gaya, baithe baithe jeene ka sahara ho gaya` on consensus between Congress and BJP on Lokpal Bill.
1.05 pm: `Corporate funding of parties must end`
Joining the debate in Rajya Sabha, CPI-M Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury says, " Corporate funding of political parties must stop to eradicate corruption."
12.50 pm: BJP opposes religion based reservations that Lokpal offers
Continuing the debate, Arun Jaitley says, BJP opposes religion based reservations that the Lokpal Bill offers. Amidst the debate, Rajya Sabha Speaker thanks CPM`s Sitaram Yechury for suggesting skipping lunch for Lokpal Bill debate.
12.45 pm: `BJP backs bill despite reservations`
Arun Jaitley says his party, the BJP, fully supports Lokpal Bill despite few reservations. The BJP leader calls on the government to rethink on the jurisdiction of Lokpal, saying there is ample scope for improvement in the bill.
12.35 pm: Bring credible Lokpal, says BJP
We must strive to bring a viable and credible Lokpal Bill. There is scope for improvement in this law, says Jaitley. "It is important to have Lokayuktas in all states too."
12.28 pm: `Federalism & battle against corruption can coexist`
Federalism and battle against corruption can coexist, says Arun Jaitley during Lokpal Bill debate.
12.25 pm: Arun Jaitley addresses RS
BJP leader Arun Jaitley addresses RS, says "Political situation has changed, so has the government`s mindset. Samajwadi Party not right in its apprehensions, leaders will be more cautious now in their decisions."
12.17 pm: `Time to rise above political lines`
Sibal says, "At times we need to rise above political lines. Government has decided to accept recommendations made by the select committee. It is in the best interest of the nation. I strongly recommend it."
12.15 pm: Law Minister defends Lokpal Bill
Union Minister Kapil Sibal addresses Rajya Sabha, presents the salient features of the Lokpal Bill. "Never before in the history of this country was a bill debated so widely," Sibal says during Lokpal Bill debate in Rajya Sabha.
12.10 pm: SP stages walkout
Samajwadi Party MPs walk out of Rajya Sabha against the tabling of Lokpal Bill. "Lokpal Bill not in national interest,” say SP MPs.
12.05 pm: Lokpal debate begins in RS, SP opposes bill
Rajya Sabha debates the Lokpal Bill, Samajwadi Party opposes the bill. SP leader Ram Gopal Yadav says, "Do you want to take the nation towards a state of indecision."
12:00: BSP wasn’t invited for all party meet on Lokpal: Mayawati
Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati today expressed her displeasure over government’s decision of not inviting her party for the all party meet on Lokpal Bill.
Mayawati said that the government should be thankful to the BSP for supporting the ombudsman bill.
11.40 am: BJP, JDU reaffirm support to Lokpal
Country has spent enough time having discussions on this Bill, we will extend unconditional support for passing this, says Venkaiah Naidu of BJP. "We support Lokpal Bill, it must be passed, " JDU leader KC Tyagi says.
11.35 am: `Confident that Lokpal Bill will be passed`
Congress chief Sonia Gandhi tells reporters, "I hope the Lokpal Bill is passed in Parliament."
11.30 am: SP leaders meet PM on Lokpal
Top leaders of the Samajwadi Party, which has so far refused to back the Lokpal Bill, meet PM Manmohan Singh on the issue. The SP delegation includes Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ram Gopal Yadav and Naresh Agarwal.
11.30 am: `Those opposing Lokpal are acting against nation`
Lokpal must be passed, those who are opposing it are acting against the country, says Gurudas Dasgupta of CPI.
11.20 am: `Govt confident on Lokpal Bill`
Union Minister Kamal Nath tells reporters, "We are hopeful that Lokpal Bill will be passed by Rajya Sabha today. We are hopeful that SP will cooperate."
11.15 am: Kiran Bedi backs Lokpal Bill
If Lokpal is passed in RS today, thereafter in Parliament, means nation will get a court which will only work against cases of corruption, says Kiran Bedi.
11.08 am: Parliament adjourned till noon
Minutes after the Parliament met for the day, both Houses were adjourned till noon due to ruckus created by Seemandhra MPs on Telangana issue.
10.55 am: Rahul writes back to Anna, lauds his role on Lokpal
Rahul Gandhi writes back to Anna Hazare and thanks him for his support to Lokpal Bill. "We respect your role in it and we are very grateful to you for support," he says.
10.50 am: `Rahul wants Lokpal Bill to be passed at any cost`
Congress VP Rahul Gandhi has asked us to pass Lokpal Bill at any cost, says Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath after his meeting with him.
10.45 am: Why can`t Congress get SP on board, says BJP
If Government can manage SP for last 9 years & run government, why can`t it get SP on the same page even on Lokpal, what conspiracy is brewing, asks RS Prasad of BJP. The BJP leader says, Lokpal Bill must be passed, we want to discuss and pass the Bill in Parliament.
10.35 am: BJP board meet on Lokpal ends
BJP Parliamentary Board meeting ends, BJP urges SP to back the Lokpal Bill.
10.30 am: Lokpal must be passed, says JD(U)
Lokpal must be passed in Parliament , at least its foundation stone must be laid, if there are any shortcomings, can overcome them later, says Ali Anwar of JD(U).
10.05 am: `Match-fixing between Anna, Congress on Lokpal`
This is certainly a deal between Anna Hazare ji and Congress on, says SP leader Naresh Agarwal, adding, "The Lokpal deal between Anna and Congress was struck earlier itself, now they have come together in open."
9.50 am: SP to oppose Lokpal Bill
We oppose Lokpal Bill, the consequences of this Bill will not be good, will convey the same in Parliament, says Ram Gopal Yadav of SP.
9. 45 am: Kamal Nath, Narayanasamy meet Rahul
Union Ministers Kamal Nath and V Narayanasamy meet Rahul Gandhi to give final touches to government`s Lokpal Bill strategy
9.30 am: BJP doubts Govt`s intention on Lokpal
To bring in Lokpal Bill & Communal Violence Bill together means a sure recipe for not running the House properly, claims Prakash Javadekar of BJP.
9.25 am: Anna thanks Congress, BJP for support on Lokpal
Anna Hazare sent a letter of gratitude to Congress and BJP, to Rahul and Jaitely, for recognising the urgency of passing the Lokpal, says Kiran Bedi
9.17 am: We will give a strong Lokpal to nation: Rahul
We are trying to give the country a strong Lokpal, Rahul Gandhi says in his letter to Anna Hazare.
9.20 am: Rahul Gandhi assures Anna on Lokpal Bill
Rahul Gandhi writes back to Anna Hazare, says he got a lot of encouragement from his letter.
9.15 am: Anna backs Lokpal Bill: Maken
As we know Rahul Gandhi ji has always been committed to fight corruption, has taken up efforts to do this, says Congress` Ajay Maken, adding, "Annaji has written letter to Rahul Gandhi appreciating his commitment to fight corruption, we thank him."
9.14 am: Rahul to meet Kamal Nath, Narayanasamy
Rahul Gandhi to meet Kamal Nath and Narayanasamy shortly to discuss Lokpal Bill.
9.08 am: RJD backs Lokpal Bill
RJD chief Lalu Prasad says, "We are in favour of the Lokpal Bill."
9.05 am: BJP in favour of Lokpal Bill: Jaitley
BJP leader Arun Jaitley says, "We are in favour of Lokpal Bill. I have already made it clear to the government that we want it to be passed at any cost."
After several days of disruptions, Rajya Sabha is finally set to debate and possibly pass the Lokpal Bill on Tuesday despite stiff opposition from the Samajwadi Party and growing support to the anti-corruption legislation from other political parties.
After an all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari, all major political parties, including the BJP, offered their support to the bill, while SP led by Mulayam Singh Yadav categorically refused to back the bill.
Confirming the development, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath told reporters, "All those who attended the all-party meet have decided to pass the Lokpal Bill. The NDA added that the Bill can be passed even amidst protests hinting at the opposition from the Samajwadi Party."
Both Houses of parliament were adjourned on Monday after paying obituary reference to late former Labour Minister Sis Ram Ola, who passed away after prolonged illness.
With this, the scope for getting the Lokpal Bill passed has now shrunk to just four days forcing key government managers to swing into action.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has also put his stamp on the much awaited anti-graft law and appealed to others to back the legislation.
Meanwhile, Anna Hazare, who is on an indefinite fast for the past eight days, has also supported the government`s draft of the bill.