Jan Lokpal Bill discussion unlikely today: Bansal

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Parliament
New Delhi, Aug 26: Government today (Aug 26) said a discussion on Jan Lokpal Bill as demanded by Anna Hazare may not be possible in Lok Sabha during the day but added nothing can be ruled out.

"I am afraid as of now there does not seem to be any likelihood of it (Jan Lokpal Bill) being taken up today because no notice has been given by any member nor does the revised list of business carries the item for discussion," Parliamentary Affairs Minister PK Bansal told reporters here.

"I am not saying that there will be no discussion but it looks less likely today because of other businesses, including private members' bill," he said.

There are rules and procedures to be followed and some member has to give notice for discussion. It can be given from our side, by a Congress member, he said.

Asked whether this meant that there will be no discussion, he said "no, I am not saying that. There will be a discussion but it has to be decided when and how to do it."

On Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's assurances yesterday on a discussion in the House and the situation in view of the deteriorating health of Hazare, he said, he would also like the Gandhian to call off his fast.

Asked whether he rules out the possibility of the disccusuion today, Bansal said he was not ruling out such a possibility because it can be worked out and if a decision is taken, media will get to know.

"I hope Anna's health does not deteriorate further and he breaks his fast. The Prime Minister appealed emotionally to him yesterday that the nation is with you. What more can Parliament do," he said as the Gandhian's fast for a strong Lokpal entered the 11th day. 

Law Minister Salman Khurshid met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to discuss a way out to end the deadlock.

"We want a collaborative, cooperative resolution in the House. The whole House must be party to it," he said.

Government sources last night said that a motion will be brought to facilitate a combined discussion on the Lokpal Bill, the Jan Lokpal Bill brought out by Hazare as also the drafts prepared by activist Aruna Roy and Jai Prakash Narain.

Consultations were under way the exact wording of the motion, they said.

Team Anna had last night reached out to BJP which said a solution to the impasse could be found in consonance with the Constitution if the government has a "constructive" attitude.

PTI

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