The two union ministers P Chidambaram and Kapil Sibal, who are members of the Lokpal drafting committee spoke of the Government's intention on May 31. Interestingly, the declarations made by the two come after a series of fall-outs between the political members and the civil society group in the Lokpal Bill drafting committee.
Speaking about the various differences within the two groups in the committee, Chidambaram said, "We are on the right path - the path of inquiry, discussion, consultation, consensus and discussion."
Kapil Sibal, the Union Minister for Human Resources and Development added, I don't think anyone should suspect the intentions of the Government. The nation wants to see a strong Lokpal Bill. We will present in Parliament a strong bill. The draft of the bill will be ready by June 30, after some constructive dialogue on June 6 and 10 meetings. We are committed to present it in the monsoon session of Parliament."
Seeking to widen the consultation process on the bill, Pranab Mukherjee, the Union Minister of Finance has written to all chief ministers and political parties asking their views on six issues. Among the issues is included the the demand of civil society members that one single Act should provide for both the Lokpal in the Centre and Lokayukta in the states and whether state governments would be willing to accept a draft provision for the Lokayukta on the same lines as that of the Lokpal, apart from the contentious issue of bringing top constitutional functionaries under the bill's ambit.
There are even differences between the civil society over the issue as the five members seek the inclusion of the Prime Minister under the purview of the Lokpal Bill, Baba Ramdev, the Yoga Guru has showed a bit of flexibility on it.
He has been quoted as saying, "The question is complicated. I don't want to get into this debate. It is a serious matter if there are uncalled for comments on the person holding a senior position in the democracy."