Lokpal Bill: Ice melting in Govt-Anna face off?

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Lokpal panel
New Delhi, Jun 20: Some ice seem to have melted in the stand-off between the government and Anna Hazare's team regarding the contentious Lokpal Bill implementation issue. Telecom Minister, Kapil Sibal stated that major issues were discussed and consensus arrived at some of the issues. The next Lokpal meeting is scheduled to be held at 4:30pm tomorrow (Tuesday).

Members from Anna's team expressed happiness at the cordial atmosphere in the meeting. Prasanth Bhushan, representing Anna's team, said that a number of issues were discussed and argued upon. But he added that the earlier disagreement still persists. He added that there were reservations among both parties in around 11 points.

Civil society member and popular voice of Anna's team, Arvind Kejriwal said that there were divergent views in three major areas regarding selection, removal and jurisdiction of the Lokpal Bill selection committee. He also added that a good atmosphere existed during the meeting. The particular area of dissent was the constitution of the selection committee.

The two major points of contention are -

1)The government wants to have a selection committee comprising primarily of politicians while Anna's team wants a more broad-based committee comprising of independent and non-political members.

2)There was also disagreement regarding the selection and removal of a member from the committee. Anna's team called for a more transparent approach, with citizens directly filing complaint in the Supreme Court. The government on the other hand wants to keep off citizens from going directly to the apex court with the govt prohibiting citizens from approaching the SC. Arvind Kejriwal commented on this issue by saying, "Government wants to control the selection and fairness of Lokpal."

The panel will meet on Tuesday once again expecting to achieve more consensus. Both the government's draft and the draft from the civil society will be presented in front of the Cabinet to be presented in the Monsoon session of Parliament.

OneIndia News

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