Lokpal Bill next week, Govt may extend session

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Parliament
New Delhi, Dec 15: A day after the all-party meeting, government indicated that the Lokpal Bill will be brought next week and the session would be extended by a day, if needed.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal told reporters here that it was government's intention to bring the bill for consideration in the session which is concluding on December 22.

The government amendments to the much-debated bill are expected to be finalised by three ministers -- Home Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Minister of State for Personnel V Narayanasamy -- in the next two days under the overall charge of Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, sources said.

This would enable government to bring the amended bill for consideration before the meeting of the Union Cabinet scheduled for Sunday evening.

A senior minister said that the inclusion of Prime Minister with certain safeguards and evolving an "appropriate mechanism" to include group C employees under ther ambit of Lokpal in the amended bill appears a foregone conclusion.

A whip has been issued to Congress members of Parliament to ensure their presence from Monday to Thursday, Bansal said indicating that if need be the Winter session could be extended by a day.

A senior minister who declined to be identified, said that government would like the legislation to sail through in order to avoid any blame about lack of sincerity on its part.

According to current indications, the bill would come up in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

PTI

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