BJP in favour of Lokpal Bill: Arun Jaitley

Arun Jaitley
New Delhi, Apr 17: As the government and civil society representatives work on drafting the Lokpal Bill, BJP has come out in favour of its expeditious creation to fight corruption.

"We are in favour of an independent mechanism of Lokpal and this should be expeditiously created," Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley told PTI.

His remarks came close on the heels of senior BJP leader L K Advani expressing his party's eagerness to pass the Bill in the forthcoming Monsoon session of Parliament to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

However, an early passage of the Lokpal Bill depends on the provisions of the new draft being formulated by the Joint Committee as a section of the Opposition wants to tread cautiously on certain issues.

This section reportedly wants the policy issues to be kept out of the Lokpal's ambit as they fall entirely in the domain of Parliament.

On the 2G probe issue, Jaitley sought to debunk the Congress strategy in the PAC that there was no need for the committee to look into the matter as JPC has been constituted specifically for the purpose.

"We hope that both the JPC and PAC get to the root of the matter (2G spectrum scam). Even if there is an overlapping between two Parliamentary committees, they can work on the same issue," Jaitley insisted.

Maintaining that "heavens will not fall if overlapping occurs between the two committees", he said both the committees know how to respect each others functioning.

He cited the example of the merger of Air India and Indian Airlines where two Parliamentary Committees - the Transport, Tourism and Culture Committee and the Committee on Public Undertakings - had looked into the matter.

Jaitley's remarks are significant in the light of an all-out war between the ruling coalition and the Opposition in the PAC meeting on Friday.

Congress has been justifying the objections raised by party members in the PAC meeting maintaining that they have raised "legitimate issues" of jurisdiction that have cropped up with the formation of the JPC.

"The party has been saying from the rooftops that there will inevitably be a clash of jurisdiction, multiplicity and overlap but we were accused of obduracy... Now chickens are coming home to roost. The matter has come full circle. The opposition leader, heading the committee, is finding an overlap," is how Congress sees it.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar has asked both the committees to work in close coordination and harmony.


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