Oppn pressures UPA to bring PM under Lokpal
The BJP, BSP and CPM have planned to oppose the Standing Committee's Lokpal Bill draft in the all-party meeting.
New Delhi: The UPA is under extreme pressure to include the Prime Minister under the ambit of the Lokpal Bill as after Team Anna, the Opposition parties, too, have said that they will take up the issue in the all-party meet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Congress top brass, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party chief Sonia Gandhi, also deliberated on the strategy on the Lokpal issue ahead of the meeting of the UPA leaders on Tuesday.
The BJP and BSP have planned to oppose the Standing Committee's Lokpal Bill draft in the all-party meeting.
The BJP also plans to move an amendment motion on Lokpal if their demands are not met. The BJP will press for the inclusion of the Prime Minister, lower bureaucracy and Citizens' Charter under Lokpal at the all-party meeting and will move amendments in the Bill after consultation with other parties in case the government does not accept its proposals.
"Tomorrow the government has called an all-party meeting on Lokpal Bill. Our members have already given a dissent note before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Lokpal Bill. We will press for that in tomorrow's meeting. If they don't agree, then we will try and bring amendment in the Lokpal Bill after consultation with other political parties," BJP leader SS Ahluwalia said.
Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and BSP leader Mayawati also made it clear that her party will not support the bill in its current form.
"We will make this clear in the all-party meeting tomorrow, the BSP will not support the bill in its current form," Mayawati said on Tuesday.
She also alleged that the UPA was not bringing a strong Lokpal Bill in Parliament as such a move will affect the Congress the most.
The CPM also trained guns at the government saying they want the Prime Minister and Group C and D bureaucrats under the Lokpal Bill. CPM leader Sitaram Yechury said, "The CPM has been clear, we have been pursuing an effective Lokpal for the last two decades. We have said that the Prime Minister should be included. We have said C and D employees should also be included."
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called an all-party meeting on Wednesday to evolve a broad consensus on the Lokpal Bill and ensure its passage during the current session of Parliament that ends on December 22.
Meanwhile, sources say that UPA allies will meet the Prime Ministeron Tuesday at his residence for dinner and perhaps plan out a strategy for Wednesday's all-party meet on the Lokpal draft.
Also, this comes after the heated Lokpal debate at Anna Hazare's one-day token fast, where apart from the Congress, even allies chose to stay away.
Team Anna's Core Committee will also meet in New Delhi for two days from Wednesday to chalk out future plans, including the proposed Ramlila Maidan agitation, if a strong Lokpal Bill is not passed in the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
Sources have said that under pressure, the government may consider including the Prime Minister and Group C bureaucrats with some riders under the Lokpal Bill.
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