The Lok Sabha will create history on Tuesday when it begins discussing the highly publicised lokpal bill to set up an anti-corruption ombudsman for the first time in six decades of independence.
Lokpal bills were introduced in one form or another in the Lok Sabha nine times since 1968 but never reached the stage of discussion and passing till now.Top government sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee are likely to intervene in the debate, which will be opened by leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj.
Till late Monday, the speaker's office had received 56 amendments from Opposition parties.
The key amendments include granting autonomy to the CBI, a separate investigative wing for lokpal and making it optional for states to set up lokayuktas.
Parliamentary affairs minister Pawan Kumar Bansal urged the Opposition parties not to move amendments and "help in passing a fine piece of legislation", but the appeal is unlikely to cut ice with the Opposition.
He said the government would try to wrap up the debate and voting by Tuesday night but it could well spill over to Wednesday, the day the Rajya Sabha is to take up the bill.
The government hopes to get the bill passed in the Lok Sabha comfortably as it enjoys a majority there. But the going might get tough in the Rajya Sabha, where the Opposition has the majority.
All major parties have issued whips to their MPs, directing them to be present in the House for the debate and voting.
Bansal said the legislation to accord constitutional status to the lokpal, which requires a two-thirds majority in each House, would be put to vote only if the government has the required support.