Opposition wants govt to negotiate new Lokpal draft
The all-party meeting on Wednesday resolved to uphold the supremacy of Parliament and Constitution but the opposition parties, led by BJP and the Left, upped the pressure on the government seeking withdrawal of its Lokpal Bill. HT reports.delhi Updated: Aug 24, 2011 23:47 IST
The all-party meeting on Wednesday resolved to uphold the supremacy of Parliament and Constitution but the opposition parties, led by BJP and the Left, upped the pressure on the government seeking withdrawal of its Lokpal Bill.
They want Centre to negotiate a new draft with the civil society activists.
A resolution passed at the three-hour meeting requested Anna Hazare to end his fast. “The meeting was also of the view that due consideration should be given to the Jan Lokpal Bill so that the final draft of the Lokpal Bill provides for a strong and effective Lokpal, which is supported by a broad national consensus,” it read.
Sources said the resolution was drafted by finance minister Pranab Mukherjee and BJP leaders Arun Jaitley and Sushma Swaraj.
Government managers were visibly satisfied with the outcome of the meeting despite the BJP and nine opposition parties from non-UPA and non-NDA camps, which included the Left Front, Telugu Desam Party, Rashtriya Lok Dal, AIADMK and others demanding withdrawal of the Lokpal Bill and the introduction of a strong and effective Bill.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was quick to indicate that the government was not ready to accept the demand. He shook his head in what appeared to be a “no” when asked about it by journalists at an Iftar party soon after the all-party meeting.
Apart from the larger sentiment calling for maintaining the supremacy of Parliament and Constitution at all cost, the sense of satisfaction in the beleaguered Congress camp also came from the support it received — allies, outside supporters and even a section of the opposition — on contentious issues such as the inclusion of the Prime Minister in the ambit of Lokpal.
The BJP and the BJD on their part favoured the inclusion of the PM but with adequate safeguards.
AIMIM’s Assaduddin Owaisi said, “Tomorrow if this movement succeeded in usurping the powers of parliament to make laws, is it not possible that a large number of people can similarly legislate terror laws to target Muslims to erode their right as equal citizens.”
The NCP, AIADMK, National Conference, BSP, SP, Lalu Prasad's RJD and Ram Vilas Paswan's LJP strongly opposed conceding various demands of the civil society.
First Published: Aug 24, 2011 23:43 IST