We are open to a reasoned debate on Lokpal: PM

Manmohan Singh
Kolkata, Aug 22: In a fresh bid to end the week-long standoff with Team Anna, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today (Aug 22) said Government is open to a "reasoned debate" on the Lokpal Bill and that the Parliamentary panel examining it can propose changes.

"We are open to a reasoned debate on all these issues," Singh said at the golden jubilee function of the Indian Institute of Management here.

Apparently referring to the demand of Anna Hazare that the Jan Lokpal Bill should be placed in Parliament, Singh acknowledged that there were differences of views in the Lokpal Bill introduced by the Government.

"We have introduced the bill in Parliament which is now before the Standing Committee. There are differences of views on details of the bill," Singh said.

"We have made it clear that all concerned individuals should convey their concern on different aspects of the bill to their representatives in Parliament and to the standing committee", he said adding, "the Standing Committee has the power to propose any amendment".

Team Anna has been insisting that the Government version of the Lokpal was weak, self-serving and would only encourage corruption.

Recalling his Independence day address, Singh said, "I said (in my speech) that there is no magic wand that can solve the problem in one stroke. There is no single solution. We need to act on multiple fronts".

He said that the creation of Lokpal as an institution would help but it would not solve the problem. "It needs to be supported by improvements in the pace and quality of judicial processes".


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