A day after it introduced the Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill in the Lok Sabha, the government seemed ready for some more “give-and-take” to get the bill passed without any hitches, but at the same time made it clear that this time it would not go out of its way to humour Anna Hazare.
“We appeal to Anna not to go on fast since we have fulfilled our promise….We are not scared to fight back,” said minister of state in the Prime Minister’s Office, V Narayanasamy.
But to get the bill passed, the government will have to depend on the Opposition since the Congress-led UPA does not have a two-thirds majority in either of the two Houses of Parliament.
The BJP, however, continued to play hardball, saying it would move amendments in both Houses if its demands for granting autonomy to the CBI and making the lokayuktas optional were not accepted.
“The BJP doesn't want a sarkari (government) lokpal bill. We want an effective lokpal bill,” said party general secretary Ananth Kumar.
But top government sources are hopeful. “If the BJP and Left stick to their word, passing the bill should not be a problem,” said a senior minister.
A major hurdle for the government is that it has introduced a Constitution amendment bill to enable the setting up of the lokayuktas in states and to provide a constitutional status to the lokpal along with the main bill.