Keen on a consensus on the lokpal bill, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has convened a meeting of senior Rajya Sabha leaders on Friday, as the government wants to hammer out an acceptable shape of the bill with the Opposition and the allies.
Earlier, during the 2011 winter session of Parliament, the government failed to pass the anti-graft bill with 187 amendments being moved on the last day of the Rajya Sabha.
A senior UPA minister said, “We will give notice in the Rajya Sabha for passage of the bill only if something concrete comes out of Friday’s meeting.”
Any amendment to the bill will send it back to the Lok Sabha, where it had already been passed.
He said, “If we think the final shape of the bill can be passed, we will definitely bring it before March 30.”
The second largest UPA constituent, the Trinamool Congress — along with some other parties — opposed the bill in the Rajya Sabha even after clearing it in the Lok Sabha. Now, the government is unlikely to offer any advance formula and wait for others’ response.
The Trinamool is insisting on removing the entire reference to the lokayukta. “We are not opposed to the lokpal and lokayukta. But the Centre should not encroach upon the legislative competence of the states,” said party MP Sukhendu Sekhar Roy.