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HindustanTimes Wed,23 Apr 2014

Congress to oppose Delhi Jan Lokpal if it is against Lokpal Act, but won’t pull plug

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, February 04, 2014
First Published: 09:11 IST(4/2/2014) | Last Updated: 09:45 IST(4/2/2014)

The Congress on Monday made it clear that it will not support the proposed Jan Lokpal bill if it contradicted the Lokpal legislation passed by Parliament in the first half of the winter session.

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“We stand by our reply to Arvind Kejriwal’s letter in which he had raised 18 demands, including the Jan Lokpal bill. We had made it clear that we are for a strong Lokayukta but the Jan Lokpal should not contradict the Lokpal bill passed by Parliament,” Congress general secretary in-charge of Delhi Shakeel Ahmed said. His remarks came on a day when the Delhi cabinet cleared the Jan Lokpal bill.

The Delhi government said that it would pass the bill at a special assembly session in the Indira Gandhi indoor stadium.

However, he ruled out any move to withdraw support to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the Jan Lokpal issue.

Soon after the assembly elections, the Congress had offered outside unconditional support to AAP to form the government in Delhi but Kejriwal’s party handed over a list of 18 demands as a pre-condition to consider its offer.

In reply, Ahmed had then said that barring Jan Lokpal and statehood issues, the remaining 16 points were administrative in nature. “We had said that we will support them if they want to make any changes in Lokayukta act of Delhi if it is not contrary to any law passed by Parliament,” he added.

The firm opposition by the Congress means that it be would be tough for the AAP government to get its Jan Lokpal bill passed in the Delhi assembly since the BJP too was unlikely to back the draft legislation.

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