The government has clarified that the controversies surrounding some civil society members on the joint committee drafting the Lokpal Bill won't affect the working of the panel.
"Controversies have been raised about some members. I would like to make it clear that in the view of the government and my party, the working of the committee will not in any way be affected by these," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said after a meeting of the Congress core group, headed by party president Sonia Gandhi, on Friday.
"Government members on the committee are looking forward to working with Anna Hazare and his colleagues to draft a strong Lokpal Bill to fight corruption," said Mukherjee, who chairs the drafting panel.
The committee's five civil society members are meeting here on Saturday to discuss whether to remain on the panel in the face of what they call a "smear campaign" against them.
Mukherjee's statements came in the backdrop of allegations in a CD that panel co-chair Shanti Bhushan had offered to fix a judge for Rs 4 crore through his son and advocate, Prashant Bhushan, also a member of the 10-member drafting panel.
Shanti Bhushan and his other son, Jayant, are also alleged to have purchased two farmhouse plots in Noida at subsidised rates in 2009.
In addition, justice Santosh Hegde, another civil society member of the panel and lokayukta of Karnataka, has been accused by Congress leader Digvijaya Singh of protecting Karnataka chief minister BS Yeddyurappa against corruption charges.