Holding out hope that the political controversy surrounding the FDI issue will not eclipse the Lokpal bill, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday said the government will get important legislations passed in the ongoing winter session.
“But for that, it is very important that parliament functions,” he said. Mukherjee said this could happen next week when parliament reopens on Wednesday after an extended weekend.
“We are hopeful that parliament will function from December 7 onwards,” Mukherjee, also the leader of the house in the Lok Sabha, said on the sidelines of the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit.
In his inaugural address at the summit, he had expressed optimism that the government will persuade political parties to allow parliament to function.
Parliament hasn’t transacted any business in the winter session that started on November 22 due to disruptions over the issues ranging from price rise, black money and the FDI in the retail sector.
The disruptions triggered concerns that the Lokpal bill could be the first casualty in the political slugfest between the opposition and the UPA government.
The fear that Lokpal could remain a pipedream prompted social activist Anna Hazare and his team to prepare for a third round of the agitation.
“No No No… Lokpal… We will get some legislations passed… don’t worry,” Mukherjee said, allaying such fears.
Along with the Lokpal, he said the government is working for the passage of judicial accountability and whistleblower bills as well. Mukherjee’s remarks came three days after Congress president Sonia Gandhi stated at a Youth Congress convention that the government is working for an effective Lokpal bill to fight corruption.
She had also urged the opposition to help in the passage of anti-corruption legislations, including Lokpal bill.
Mukherjee said the government is also working to get its dissenting allies on board on the FDI issue.
While the Congress leadership has been able to mollify the DMK on the issue, it is working on the Trinamool Congress.