Ahead of lokpal battle, Anna unites bickering UPA | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ahead of lokpal battle, Anna unites bickering UPA

delhi Updated: Dec 14, 2011 01:04 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
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The government has secured the support of all UPA allies - including the Trinamool Congress - on the stand to be taken in Wednesday's all-party meeting on the lokpal bill.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee has also come around, directing her party leaders to back the government's position on the contentious issues of the bill to ensure that Team Anna does not take the credit for the anti-graft mechanism.

Home minister P Chidambaram summed up the mood after the UPA dinner meeting on Tuesday night: "There is a broad consensus among the allies on the issue." http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/14-12-11-metro1b.jpg

In the meeting, UPA managers stressed the need for unity among the allies, considering the aggressive position taken by the Opposition on the lokpal issue, with Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party also coming out in the open against the government.

The government is set to tell the Opposition that it is ready to bring the prime minister - with certain safeguards - and the lower bureaucracy under the lokpal's ambit.

It is also ready to allow the lokpal to supervise the anti-graft cases to be probed by the CBI, although the agency informed the government about its reservations regarding any change in its structure and procedure of appointments.

The latest headache for the government now appears to be its commitment to provide a constitutional status to the lokpal, the suggestion first given by party general secretary Rahul Gandhi in August.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury, however, said the government did not have even a simple majority in Rajya Sabha, while it would require two-thirds majority in both Houses of Parliament to give the lokpal a constitutional status.