Lokpal logjam No consensus reached on Lokayuktas

By: | Updated: 22 Mar 2012 09:03 PM

An all-party meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,
which aimed at bringing an end to the deadlock over Lokpal Bill, ended on

Leaders of parties in Rajya Sabha including BJP's Arun Jaitley, BSP's SC
Mishra, RJD's Ram Kripal Yadav, SP's Ram Gopal Yadav, NCP'S Tariq Anwar
and CPI's AB Bardhan met at the Prime Minister's residence to discuss the
controversial bill, to which 97 amendments have been moved by opposition
members in the Upper House.

CPM leader Sitaram Yechury after the meeting said that the government will
try to evolve consensus on wording of contentious aspects of Lokpal and
Lokayuktas Bill during break in Budget Session.

Yechury also said that corporates should come under the purview of Lokpal
Bill and the Lokayuktas should be decided by states.

Meanwhile, Samajwadi Party leader, Mohan Singh said that the government
and all the other political parties were of the same view that an
effective Lokpal Bill should be passed as soon as possible.

In a fresh bid to end the stalemate over Lokpal Bill, Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh during an all-party meeting on Friday at his residence said
that his government stands committed to an effective Lokpal legislation.

"We look forward to benefitting from the wisdom and guidance of all
leaders present here in the task that we have set for ourselves," the PM

However, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was unable to break the logjam on
Lokpal with no consensus in the all-party meeting on Friday.

Highly-placed sources said that the opposition parties have moved 97
amendments to the bill in Rajya Sabha some of which were contentious and
the meeting would discuss ways to evolve consensus on them.

Some of the amendments, the sources said, are for bringing the Prime
Minister's Office entirely under Lokpal, seeks exclusion of Lokayukta from
the bill, abolition of minority quota and inclusion of leader of
opposition in Rajya Sabha as one of the members of the selection

Government is keen on passing the Lokpal Bill in the Rajya Sabha even as
the opposition and social activist Anna Hazare have renewed pressure on
the issue.

Hazare has said he will go on a fast from March 25 if the bill is not
passed while BJP has said in the Upper House that the debate and
amendments to the bill should be taken up from where they were left on the
night of December 29 when the House was adjourned amid a din. Lok Sabha
has already passed the bill.

Under the renewed effort, government is 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 had said recently that 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. The fresh consultation is aimed at
ensuring that the anti-graft bill is passed in the first part of the
Budget Session which ends on March 30.

Also read: Lokpal
Bill fails to become a reality
| What
everybody wanted, Lokpal Bill frozen
| Anna
sits on fast again for stronger Lokpal

to fast on March 25 in Delhi
| Anna
extends Lokpal deadline

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First Published: 22 Mar 2012 09:03 PM
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