Parliament to debate Lokpal Bill minus Lokayukta
The amended Bill could come up for clearance at the meeting of the Union Cabinet on Thursday, a senior minister involved in the talks to thrash out the differences, said.
Several opposition parties as well as key UPA constituent Trinamool Congress have pressed for dropping the Lokayukta provision from the Bill. The minister, who declined to be identified, said the provision which allowed any citizen to initiate the process of removal of the Lokpal has been done away with and instead 100 members of both Houses of Parliament entrusted with the task.
The government is unsure whether it could ensure the passage of the amended Bill in the Lok Sabha once it is approved by the Rajya Sabha due to paucity of time as the budget session is concluding on May 22. Last night, Minister of state for Personnel, V Narayansamy, who will be piloting the Bill, had held a meeting with Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and other concerned ministers.
With just a few days left for the budget session, government's intention is to get a dozen odd bills passed in either of the Houses. They include the Copyright Bill, Central Educational Institutions Bill, Motor Vehicles Act Amendment Bill, Whistleblowers Bill, Judicial Standards and Accountability Bill.