Under attack from opposition, PM to meet UPA allies
The consultations in the UPA come close on the heels of several non-Congress parties including the BJP and the Left sharing dais with Hazare at Jantar Mantar where he underwent a day-long fast to protest against the report of the parliamentary committee on the Lokpal Bill. Lokpal in Parliament on Dec 20 | UPA likely to offer PM, CBI, babus under lokpal | Team Anna meets tomorrowdelhi Updated: Dec 13, 2011 12:05 IST
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold consultations with allies on Tuesday on the Lokpal issue at a meeting of UPA leaders, the first such exercise after the fiasco over FDI in retail.
The meeting is expected to project a united face of the ruling alliance on the issue of Lokpal at a time when it was under attack from opposition parties and Anna Hazare for coming out with a "weak" bill.
The consultations will be held a day ahead of an all-party meeting convened by the Prime Minister on the ticklish issue.
Last week, the government had to put the decision on allowing 51% FDI in multi-brand retail on hold following key allies Trinamool Congress and DMK expressing opposition to it and demanding its rollback.
The Lokpal bill is expected to come up for consideration in the Lok Sabha on December 20, two days ahead of the conclusion of the current session of Parliament.
Though some opposition parties have been demanding extending the winter session, government managers are ruling out such a possibility at present.
The consultations in the UPA come close on the heels of several non-Congress parties including the BJP and the Left sharing dais with Hazare at Jantar Mantar where he underwent a day-long fast to protest against the report of the Parliamentary Committee on the Lokpal bill.
At Jantar Mantar on Sunday, several political parties flayed the government and the Parliamentary Standing Committee for preparing a weak Lokpal draft. Some of them also appealed to Anna and his team to be flexible in their approach towards the bill.
The much debated Lokpal Bill is expected to come up for consideration in the Lok Sabha on December 20 amid indications that the Prime Minister could be brought under its purview with some safeguards.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal said that the legislation could now come up for approval in the Lower House on December 20, giving ample time for the Upper House to consider the measure.
The current session adjourns sine die on December 22.
Bansal indicated that the Prime Minister could be brought under the ambit of the ombudsman with some safeguards.
At the same time, he said his personal opinion was that PM should be kept out of the Lokpal's purview.