Opposition poses 56 amendments ahead of Lokpal debate

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Parliament of India
New Delhi, Dec 27: With the battle lines drawn between Team Anna and the UPA, there is another hurdle for the UPA when the Lokpal Bill comes up for discussion in the Parliament. It remains to be seen if history will be made if the landmark bill gets passed today (Dec 27). In case the bill gets passed, this will be the one-of-a-kind anti-corruption ombudsman to come into force since the time of independence.

With adequate amendments made by the Centre on the Government's version of the Lokpal Bill, they will now have to seek the support from the Opposition and other allies on the many sticky points that are likely to emerge while the Bill is being debated in the floor of the House. This is the ninth time that the Lok Sabha is being brought up in Parliament since 1968. The effort did not bear fruit since the bill did not even come up for discussion, letting alone getting passed.

The Lokpal debate is sure to be fiery with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee set to speak in the debate and set the tempo for the UPA's arguments for the cause. The Oppositions arguments will be spearheaded by BJP's firebrand leader Sushma Swaraj.

According to reports, till late Monday, the speaker's office has received as many as 56 amendments from Opposition parties. Some of the major contentious issues include granting autonomy to the CBI, a separate investigative wing for Lokpal and making it optional for states to set up Lokayuktas.

Pawan Kumar Bansal, Parliamentary Affairs Minister urged the Opposition parties not to move amendments and "help in passing a fine piece of legislation." He added that a sincere effort to finish the debate and the voting on Tuesday will be carried out.

With the Lokpal Debate expected to have a smooth sailing in the Lok Sabha since the government enjoys a majority there, the journey in the Rajya Sabha will be tricky. The discussion in RS will most likely be continued on Wednesday as well.

It has also been reported that all major political parties have issued whips to their MP's directing them to be present at the House during debate and subsequent voting. Bansal added that the legislation to accord a constitutional status to the lokpal that requires a a two-thirds majority in each House, would be put to vote only if the government has the required support.

OneIndia News

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