Economy

SP members’ ‘ouster’ may pave way for passage of Lokpal Bill

| | Updated on: Dec 16, 2013

Rajya Sabha to take up Bill for discussion today

The Lokpal and Lokayuktas Bill will, in all likelihood, be passed in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday. There is an “understanding” among the political parties that nine members of the Samajwadi Party (SP) could be named and asked to withdraw from the House using Rule 255 of the Rajya Sabha proceedings.

The SP, which has been protesting against the discussion and passage of the Bill, did not attend the all-party meet convened by House Chairman Hamid Ansari on Monday. “A view was that the Bill could be passed but without using marshals to remove the SP members. The Chairman can name the members and ask them to go out of the House,” a senior leader, who attended the meeting, said.

The Government is trying to convince the SP on the “importance” of the Lokpal Bill. The SP feels that Lokpal as an institution will be undemocratic and that officers and ministers will be scared to take decisions because of such an “authoritarian” watchdog.

Unanimous decision Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath said there was a unanimous decision that the Bill should be passed on Tuesday. “We discussed expeditious passing of the Lokpal Bill. All parties, except the Samajwadi Party, which was not present in the meeting, expressed a desire that the Bill should be passed under all circumstances tomorrow. All parties will continue to persuade the SP to join in the passing of the Bill and not to obstruct the functioning of the House,” Nath told reporters after the meeting.

The Bharatiya Janata Party has moved a notice demanding consideration of the Bill as the first agenda of the day after suspension of Question Hour. The Left parties are firm on their amendment to bring companies and public-private partnership projects under the Lokpal’s ambit. The parties are also opposed to relaxations for charitable and religious institutions.

The Bahujan Samaj Party and DMK also kept away from the meeting. The two parties have, however, not voiced any opposition to the Lokpal legislation so far.

> jigeesh.am@thehindu.co.in

Published on March 12, 2018

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