All-party meet on lokpal ends, still no consensus | delhi | Hindustan Times
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All-party meet on lokpal ends, still no consensus

delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2011 20:22 IST
Agencies
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The all-party meeting on Lokpal bill held at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's official residence ended here after discussions lasting nearly three hours. Opposition parties vouched for a strong bill.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh made opening remarks at the meeting in which he affirmed his government's commitment to a strong Lokpal bill.

The meeting was attended by top leaders from various political parties to evolve a consensus on Lokpal Bill amid a demand by civil society group led by Anna Hazare that the proposed law should have the prime minister and the higher judiciary within its ambit.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had convened the meeting of all political parties in the backdrop of differences between the representatives of government and civil society in the drafting committee on certain provisions of the bill.

Besides Singh, the meeting was attended by Congress President Sonia Gandhi, union ministers Pranab Mukherjee, P Chidambaram, Kapil Sibal, M Veerappa Moily, Salman Khurshid and Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar and Heavy Industries Minister Praful Patel (both NCP), and T R Baalu (DMK) were among UPA constituents to attend the deliberations.

The Opposition was represented by BJP veteran L K Advani, Leaders of Opposition Sushma Swaraj (Lok Sabha) and Arun Jaitley (Rajya Sabha), NDA Convenor and JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav, S S Dhindsa (SAD), Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M), Gurudas Dasgupta and D Raja (both CPI), Lalu Prasad (RJD) and V Maitreyan and M Thambidurai (both AIADMK).

S C Mishra (BSP) and Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) also attended the meeting.

Other contentious issues were bringing MPs' conduct inside Parliament, CBI's anti-corruption wing and lower bureaucracy across the country within the ambit of Lokpal, besides mode of financing and the panel for selecting the ombudsman.

The government is learnt to have presented to the parties a comparative draft of the provisions of the Lokpal Bill suggested by the civil society and those put forward by the five union ministers in the Joint Drafting Committee.