3 days for political class to unite, pass lokpal bill | delhi | Hindustan Times
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3 days for political class to unite, pass lokpal bill

delhi Updated: Dec 24, 2011 17:42 IST
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Parliament, which will reconvene for three days on December 27 to debate and pass the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill, 2011, is expected to witness further turbulence.

Parties took divergent and irreconcilable positions on several issues on Thursday when the lokpal bill was tabled.

Its introduction immediately brought to the forefront the fault lines both within the political class as well as between the political class and Team Anna.

The focus of the members was mainly on the inclusion of the Prime Minister and MPs under the purview of the watchdog, reservation for minorities in the lokpal panel and establishment of lokayuktas in the states.

Thursday's unusual pre-introduction discussion was necessitated by objections raised by disparate political parties, led by leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.

The government bent backwards to accommodate the Opposition and Team Anna, but both refused to accept the bill.

Speaking for the government, Pranab Mukherjee said any concerns the MPs had regarding particular provisions could be addressed during the discussion, but he rejected the charge that the bill was being hurried through.

"I would like to assure that there is no question of undue haste. The country is waiting for 40 years - not one or two days - for the lokpal bill. Several governments have come and gone," Mukherjee said.

He also rebutted the Opposition claim that the government appeared to be under pressure from Hazare's latest threat to go on fast from December 27, reminding CPI leader Gurudas Dasgupta that his strident anti-Hazare tone in the House was in sharp contrast to his party leaders having shared the stage with team Anna recently at Jantar Mantar.

Earlier, Swaraj objected to the introduction of the bill, saying it provided for a 50% reservation in the Lokpal panel, which was against the Constitution, and the inclusion of minorities within the reservation category was illegal.