There are no takers for the government’s proposal to provide a constitutional status to the Lokpal with the opposition parties and Team Anna strongly opposing it.
A day after law minister Salman Khurshid supported Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s suggestion of providing the Lokpal a status equivalent to the Election Commission, the BJP and the Left parties made it clear they would not support the move.
The government would require a two-third majority in both houses of Parliament in case it wants to amend the constitution for providing the Lokpal this status.
It appears to be a tall task, given the fact that it would require the opposition's support for this purpose and that is clearly missing at the moment.
Adding fuel to the fire, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said Khurshid’s statement was a tactic to delay or avoid early passage of the Lokpal Bill. “If the government is serious about Lokpal, it should first pass the Bill by winter session,” she said.
BJP said the government’s move is a diversionary and delaying tactic as the Congress-led dispensation was not serious about establishing a strong and effective ombudsman.
“The government draft of the Lokpal Bill was one fit to be put in the dustbin,” party spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.
CPM leader Nilotpal Basu said the argument on status appeared to be a delaying tactic. “Let the government answer who makes appointments for the Election Commission. Does it want to keep Lokpal appointments also under its control?”
Khurshid, however, tried to allay fears about the delay, saying everything should not be done on the basis of mistrust. “There will be no delay and there is no reason to believe so.”