Amid a demand for bringing a resolution on the Lokpal issue in Parliament, the Lok Sabha will have a day-long discussion on the subject on Saturday after a statement by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The decision to have a day-long discussion was reached at by the government after a series of consultations that saw
BJP's draft motion on the Lokpal issue not finding favour with several parties including some regional outfits.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that at a meeting of party leaders several parties found
BJP's motion under 184 that entails voting would divide the House and therefore almost everyone rejected parts of it.
Government sources alleged that the BJP's draft motion was prepared by Team Anna member Prashant Bhushan. As soon as the Lok Sabha assembles for the day tomorrow, Mukherjee, who is also Leader of the House, will make a statement on the issues relating to setting up of a Lokpal.
The discussion takes place on a day when when Anna Hazare's fast would have entered its 12th day. Team Anna has made it clear that he would call off his past, the moment Parliament passes a resolution containing three of demands or
at least table the Jan Lokpal Bill.
Hazare's aide Prashant Bhushan, a lawyer himself, said the resolution approving the three demands of civil society--lower bureaucracy to be brought in the ambit of Lokpal, creation of Lokpal in all the states through a legislation and approval of citizens charter--has to be brought by the government formally.
Asked about possibilities of bringing forward a resolution, Bansal merely said that it was always possible and cited rule 342 of Parliamentary proceedures.
The issue could be taken up in Rajya Sabha on Monday. Under rule 342, a policy or situation or statement or any
other matter be taken into consideration shall not be put to the vote of the House, but the House shall proceed to discuss such matter immediately after the mover has concluded his speech.
The rule also entails that no further question shall be put at the conclusion of the debate at the appointed hour
unless a member moves a substantive motion in appropriate terms to be approved by the Speaker and the vote of the House shall be taken on such motion.
The consensus of the House was important in connection with any resolution after such a debate, Bansal said. The BJP's motion for the debate on Lokpal wanted the Prime Minister to be included under the ambit of the ombudsman and an independent mechanism for his appointment.
Bansal said the BJP gave two options to the government-either accept its demand for discussion under rule 184, which
entails voting or commence it in the House after a statement by the Prime Minister or the Finance Minister.
A section in the government felt that holding the discussion under rule 184 will in a way tie the hands of the
Standing Committee, which is examining the Lokpal issue.
They said that the Committee, which has to give shape to a law making process, will unnecessary get a sense of its
hands being tied if there is any resolution with voting on the contents of the proposed law by Parliament.
The move to take up a discussion today in the Lok Sabha on the issue turned contentious with BJP-led NDA opposing the debate under rule 193 forcing adjournment of the House for an hour.