Hazare's fast enters 6th day; Centre confident of passing Lokpal bill in RS on Monday
With BJP promising support 'even without discussion' on the Lokpal Bill, the Centre today expressed confidence the legislation would be passed in Rajya Sabha on Monday. Rahul urges parties to support passage of Lokpal bill | Govt's bill not strong: AAPindia Updated: Dec 15, 2013 15:45 IST
Anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare's indefinite hunger strike at Ralegan Siddhi for passage in Parliament of Jan Lokpal Bill entered sixth day on Sunday.
"Anna has lost four kg since the fast began," his aide Suresh Pathare said.
Former Union minister Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil on Sunday met Hazare and expressed his solidarity.
"I came to meet Hazare in my personal capacity. I request all parties to support his agitation and ensure the bill is passed in the Parliament," Vikhe-Patil said.
Meanwhile, with BJP promising support “even without discussion” on the Lokpal Bill, the Centre on Sunday expressed confidence the legislation would be passed in the Rajya Sabha on Monday.
Union minister of state for personnel V Narayanasamy, who had moved the amended Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill-2011 in the Upper House of Parliament on Friday, recalled that no debate was possible then due to repeated adjournments.
He said the Congress, its allies and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) had supported the bill even as Mulayam Singh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party, which provides outside support to the UPA government, made its opposition clear.
“Chances are high that the bill will be passed in the Rajya Sabha tomorrow (Monday),” Narayansamy told reporters at Chennai airport on Sunday.
Seeking to give a big push to the Lokpal Bill, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had appealed to all political parties to support the legislation, as it was a "very, very powerful instrument" in the fight against corruption.
“We are 99% there, near the finish line. I am not saying Lokpal is a solution for all ills, but it is a big step,” Rahul had said on Saturday
With the Congress vice-president seemingly taking the lead in the fight against corruption, Arun Jaitley, leader of the opposition in the Rajya Sabha, had retorted, “The government seems to have changed its heart again on the Lokpal Bill... It should have ideally been passed in the Rajya Sabha yesterday (Friday)."
“We reiterate our stand that it should be discussed and passed on Monday. If the Congress and its allies do not allow the House to function, then we are ready to pass it without a debate.”
The amended bill de-links setting up of Lokayuktas in states, a highly controversial provision because of which many parties had opposed it in the House in December last year.
The new bill also grants powers to ombudsman to sanction prosecution against public servants.
The Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal fall out
While Hazare has appreciated the amended draft Lokpal bill presented in the Rajya Sabha, his one-time protege and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal off guard.
“I accept it completely. If this bill is passed, I will end my fast. The bill will help the poor people of this country,” Hazare, who is fasting at Ralegan Siddhi village in Maharashtra, had said on Saturday.
He tweeted his opposition, “I’m really surprised. How can Anna accept sarkari Lokpal Bill? Sarkari Lokpal is a jokepal. Who is misguiding him? Whatever he may say, we will continue our fight for Jan Lokpal Bill till our last breath.”