Observing that the nation was at "cross-roads" in view of Anna Hazare's campaign, government on Saturday asked Parliament to consider the Gandhian's three key demands on Lokpal Bill within the Constitutional framework and by preserving Parliament's supremacy.
Making identical statements in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to form the basis for a debate, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the issues raised by Hazare are "important" and "genuine" which "deserve our serious consideration".
As Hazare's fast entered the 12th day, Mukherjee said the situation was "moving out of hand" and "crisis" had been created as he asked lawmakers to "seize the moment and demonstrate the commitment" in dealing with corruption which is "gnawing at the vitals of our polity".
He said Parliament needed to discuss (i) whether the jurisdiction of the Lokpal should cover all employees of the Central government, (ii) whether it will be applicable through the institution of the Lok Ayukt in all states, and (iii) whether the Lokpal should have the power to punish all those who violate the 'grievance redressal mechanism' to be put in place.
These are the aspects that Hazare and his team are demanding to be included in the Lokpal Bill.
"In case a consensus emerges at the end of the discussions, the Standing Committee will, in the course of their deliberations, take into account their practicability, implementability and constitutionality. "For, everything that we do, must be consistent with the principles enshrined within our Constitutional framework," Mukherjee said.