For the first time since it was introduced in the Lok Sabha 45 years ago, the lokpal bill, which allows citizens to complain against corruption, finally got the Parliament’s approval on Wednesday.
What could not be achieved in nearly five decades since it was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in 1968 appears to have been made possible by a severe electoral drubbing for the ruling Congress party recently and the rise of the Aam Aadmi Party, which was born following a popular movement for the lokpal led by veteran social activist Anna Hazare.
The rare political consensus witnessed in Parliament on the bill, barring the exceptions of Samajwadi Party and the Shiv Sena, is in stark contrast to the differences over the last three years.
Not did the Congress agreed to accept all that the Rajya Sabha Select Committee which was set-up to examine the bill recommended, but the entire opposition too was extremely keen.
Another two years would have passed if the lokpal bill wasn’t passed now, as it had not gathered momentum since 2011 when the government had persisted with its own version of the bill. It was only after Hazare’s thirteen day fast at the Ramlila Ground then that the government agreed to incorporate the views of his team in the bill.
However, the government still managed to push its version of the bill in the Lok Sabha but it failed to have its way in the
Rajya Sabha and the government decided to adjourn the House at midnight on December 29, 2011, as a shocked nation watched.