The government is set to announce the formation of an eight-member group of ministers (GoM) headed by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee to finalise anti-corruption mechanisms, including the proposed ordinance to fast-track the Lokpal bill.
The GoM also has DMK leader and Union minister MK Alagiri, whose family is locked in a bitter internal feud that arose following the multi-crore 2G spectrum scam.
Agriculture minister Sharad Pawar and railways minister Mamata Banerjee are the other representatives from among the UPA allies, HT has learnt.
Defence minister AK Antony, home minister P Chidambaram, HRD and communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal and law minister M Veerappa Moily are the other members of the GoM, highly-placed sources said.
Though the proposed ordinance does not find mention in the agenda for Thursday’s cabinet meeting, the government is keen to blunt the Opposition attack on corruption and intends to highlight the steps taken by it in the President’s address on the eve of Republic Day.
The ordinance will “draw heavily” from the latest draft of the Lokpal bill being vetted by the concerned ministries. It for the first time allows citizens to file complaints against the PM, ministers and MPs with the Lokpal, the sources said.
The decision to bring the ordinance follows a clear message from Congress president Sonia Gandhi at the party’s plenary last month that corruption will tackled “head-on” without showing any tolerance to it. The issue was also discussed at the Congress core group meeting on December 31.