In an attempt to put the highly-publicised and controversial anti-graft lokpal bill on the fast track, a parliamentary panel examining the legislation has invited Anna Hazare for discussions on Wednesday.
A day after the bill was referred to it by Rajya Sabha chairman Hamid Ansari, the parliamentary standing committee on law and justice, personnel and public grievances, headed by Congress leader Abhishek Singhvi, has sought to elicit the views of all stakeholders.
While the panel had invited only Hazare for discussions, his three other team members —Shanti Bhushan, Prashant Bhushan and Arvind Kejriwal — will also join him in the deliberations in Parliament house complex at 5 pm on Wednesday.
Confirming the meeting, Singhvi told HT, “I on behalf of myself and on behalf of the committee look forward to the views of diverse stakeholders. The ball will be set rolling on Wednesday with a presentation by the secretary, department of personnel followed by discussions with Mr Hazare and his team”.
The government had on August 4 introduced the lokpal bill in the Lok Sabha.
Lok Sabha speaker Meira Kumar had then referred the bill to the Rajya Sabha chairman since the administrative control of the committee.
It was for the ninth time in four decades that the government introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha. On eight previous occasions between 1968 and 2001, the bill had lapsed each time with the dissolution of the respective Lok Sabha without any forward movement.
There were objections from the BJP when minister of state for personnel V Narayansamy introduced the bill in the Lok Sabha as leader of the opposition Sushma Swaraj opposed exclusion of the Prime Minister from its ambit.
At the same time, Hazare and his team burnt its copies in different parts of the country.