Lokpal: Govt for consensus, may leave out Lokayukta
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In a bid to evolve consensus on the Lokpal Bill before it was brought to the Rajya Sabha, the government today reached out to the Opposition and other parties to thrash out differences and ensure the proposed legislation is smoothly passed.
Union Ministers Kapil Sibal, Salman Kurshid, Pawan Kumar Bansal and V Narayansamy met Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley in Parliament House to discuss the Lokpal Bill.
BJP is adamant on two main issues, namely, the process of appointment and removal of the Lokpal be made more democratic and the CBI be kept out of government control.
Sources said the government was coming around to the view that the state Lokayukta should be kept out of the Lokpal Bill and a model law be passed by Parliament to enable states to create their own Lokayukta.
Opposition-ruled states as well as West Bengal, where ally TMC is in power, were against the Lokayukta clause in the Bill.
These Union ministers were also likely to meet CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury and leaders from other parties to discuss their views.
Other than the issues of appointment and removal of the ombudsman and keeping CBI out of government control, the Left wants foreign-funded NGOs to be brought under the Lokpal.
"We would like the Bill to come to the Rajya Sabha only after there is a consensus. If the Bill is brought and then consensus is sought in the House, it would lead to problems," Law Minister Salman Khurshid told reporters.
On Anna Hazare's demand for appointing Lokayuktas in states, Khurshid said Hazare's supporters in Delhi were accusing the government of trying to keep it out of the Lokpal Bill.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had held an all-party meeting on March 23 to resolve the issues regarding the Bill. Though the meeting failed to evolve a consensus, it was decided parties would continue negotiations on the Bill.
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